Thorny Dragon: Hell’s Lizard

The Thorny Dragon, sometimes called the Thorny Devil, is a lizard found purely in the regions of Australia. Named for their sharp thorn-like skin, they can grow up to 21 cm in length with females generally being larger than males. On the back of its neck, it has a pseudo head that is thought to be used to warn off predators and unwanted animals. Due to their habitat in the desert of Australia, these animals are use camouflage to blend in with the sand and their surroundings. They usually sport shades of brown and tan but, can be found with paler or darker shades during cold and warm seasons.

Living in such harsh conditions, one might begin to wonder how an animal survives. The Thorny devil has some of the most unique and clever ways of obtaining water consistently. When night falls in the desert, the temperatures drop a significant amount. This significant drop in temperature and heat from the day will cause dew to form on the thorns and body of the Thorny devil. How does this help hydration though if the water isn’t near its mouth? This lizard has special hygroscopic scales that channel this water towards its mouth! These channels are almost like waterslides that defy gravity. They are very unique to this lizard and are used when it rains and when brushing up against the moisture of grass. In extreme conditions, they can bury themselves deep into the sand and draw a slight amount of moisture.

The Thorny Devil is not dangerous to humans. They can usually be held and are not threatening if not provoked. When males are trying to attract a mate, they can be seen leg-waving and head-bobbing like they are in a concert. When they find a mate, the female will lay their eggs deep in the soil where it is cooler and a more favorable environment. These eggs will hatch and the young will begin to eat other insects immediately.

Stingrays: The Planes Of The Sea

The stingray is no doubt one of the most fascinating creatures you can find in the ocean. Their rubbery skin, long wing-like structure, and massive tail are very unique to their species. The Stingray is a cartilaginous fish that is closely related to sharks. The life span of these fish is currently unknown in the wild but, in human captivity, they live from 5-10 years. They are also very diverse in the size they can reach. Small Stingrays can reach a diameter of a dinner plate or a little less than a foot. Large stingrays can reach up to 16 feet!

The Stingray is a very well-adapted creature for the ocean. Their grey top allows them to blend into the darkness of the ocean if being observed from above. From below, they have a white belly that replicates the brightness of the sun. One of the most amazing things about Stingrays is their ability to sense prey. Similar to sharks, they can detect the biological electrical pulse that other organisms give off. This allows them to locate their prey much more easily. Finally, the Stingray has a sharp spine that sticks off its tail. This spine has sharp ridges that cut anything that touches it. It also has cells that release venom to enter the wound.