The Evolution of the Thorny Devil Occured Over 200 Million Years

  • 6 BCE


    Pleurodontagama is an extinct Iguanian lizard. The Pleurodontagama is our starter species. It was the last Agamid that had Pleurodont teeth.
  • 5 BCE

    Agamids Develop Acrodant Teeth

    Pleurodontagama evolves into an Agamid that develops Acrodant teeth. The change in teeth was most likely due to a change in diet.
  • 4 BCE

    Moloch Enters Australia

    The future day Moloch Horridus is exposed to Australia's arid, desert environment. This Agamid will be changed into what we now know as the Thorny Devil.
  • 3 BCE

    Gondawana Divides

    Gondawana was a part of Pangea. It made up what is now Africa, South America, Australia, India, Arabia, Antarctica, and Balkans. The Agamids invade Africa, Asia, and Australia before final split. This isolated the Agamids into their new continents
  • 2 BCE

    Development of "Thorns"

    The Moloch Horridus developed long spikes that covered their body from head to toe. These thorns made Moloch Horridus look less appealing to hungry predators.
  • 1 BCE

    Moloch Develops Hygroscopic Grooves

    Moloch Horridus had to adapt quickly to the harsh deserts of Australia. Moloch's scales have small gaps that allow water to seep through, where they are directed them to the tongue. The lizard absorbs the early morning dew that builds up on plants or from light rainfall.
  • Present Day Thorny Devil

    The Thorny Devil was found and named in 1840. It has not gone through any significant changes since.