Thursday, November 13, 2014

Consider The "Thorny Devil...!"

Talk about having a special survival skill, this little critter has one for sure!

So many things Mother Nature does for her critters would certainly be handy for humans. I reckon that nature sees that we don't use too much of the natural instincts she gave us, so figures that any more would just be a waste. Now days we depend so much on machines and technology that if we lost the use of our tech stuff...we would certainly be in trouble!

The Thorny Devil Is A Living Paper Towel

The moloch, also known as the thorny devil, is an odd lizard that looks like a throwback to the dinosaur age. They live in the deserts of Australia, where nobody messes with them because every solid inch of them is covered in wicked looking spikes. The moloch eats only ants and has a number of interesting adaptations and strategies that help it to survive in such a hostile environment. Perhaps none of them is so astounding though as the way they get their liquids.

The thorny devil can drink with its feet—or just about any other part of its body, because their skin is super-hydrophobic. Their cracked, craggy skin is covered in microscopic ravines and valleys designed to “wick up” fluids, basically repelling the water upward. It’s like what happens when you dip the corner of a paper towel in water. The water is absorbed and it climbs up the sheet, apparently in defiance of gravity. The same thing happens with the thorny devil.

Its skin uses capillary action, which is the tendency of liquids to move though narrow spaces because of intermolecular forces. It stores the water in its skin, then, by means that are not entirely understood, utilizes some movement of the jaw or tongue to pump this fluid from pockets on its face into its mouth.

The thorny devil’s entire body is a series of microscopic straws that all lead to the mouth. How would you like to be able to eat soup by standing in it? The moloch has achieved this dream. (Don’t lie: You’ve totally dreamed that.)

Ya know, this little guy sort of reminds me of the Texas Horned Toad. I don't reckon they have all the same talents as the Thorny Devil, but they sure look alike!

Better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's a tad chilly outside.


Chickenmom said...

Lizards are cool little critters. Don't know if I would want to pick this one up, though! I'll bring the Dunkin's.

linda m said...

What an interesting little critter. I sure could use some skin like that. I have very dry skin and no amount of cream helps. Inside sounds good as it is very cold here in WI. I'll bring a Kringle to go along with the Dunkin's.

texasann said...

Bubba -
Love the Horned Toad, but don't care to cross paths with this little guy. Looks a bit stand-offish, I think.
Big Hugs -

JO said...

Yes looks like the horned toad we have here too. Might be interesting to look up ours and see what traits they have.

Chilly but nice

Mamahen said...

What an amazing little fellow! I'll admire him from a distance! Hummm Dunkins n to choose .....I'll just have one of each thank you :))

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
This one sure has some spikes on him.

Thanks for dropping by this morning!

Hey Linda M...
I think many of us could use that type of skin.

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Sis...
Maybe if all I had to eat was ants, I'd be a little stand-offish as well..even more than I am now!

Does appear to have an attitude, doesn't he?

Thanks, Sis, for coming by today!

Hey Jo...
I think the horned toad that you have is about the same as ours. They do eat ants, that much I know.

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping in today!

Hey Mamahen...
That might be a good idea. Don't want to take a chance and make him mad!

Thanks so much for coming by this morning!

Sixbears said...

We don't even have to leave the planet earth to find strange and outrageous critters.

Zarathustra said...


Dizzy-Dick said...

Nature is marvelous. It is amazing what it can come up with.

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