Despite its threatening name, the thorny devil is completely harmless. When frightened, it tucks its head between its front legs. It also relies on camoflage against predators by changing colour to match its environment.
In the harsh desert environment, the thorny devil has a most unusual way of collecting water. Deserts become very cold at night and when dew forms on the lizard's skin, thousands of tiny grooves allow the water to spread quickly over the lizard's body, finally making its way to the lizard’s mouth.
It also has curious food habits. It can sit for hours by an ant nest, flicking up one ant at a time with its sticky tongue. The desert species has been known to eat about 45 ants a minute!