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Thorny Dragon

Oasis on Demand

by Rachel Santopietro on January 1, 2014

Ever race in the hot sun without a hydration pack? Well, you wouldn’t stand a chance against this scary-looking critter. He comes with his own built-in hydration pack—specially grooved skin that brings water right up to his mouth!

Map of Australia

The thorny dragon lives in the arid scrubland and desert that covers most of central and western Australia.

The thorny dragon is perfectly suited for its home in the dry Australian Outback. Between the spikes on its body are hundreds of grooves that act like tiny gutters—except that water runs up these gutters. Water travels up the grooves by the same process that draws water up plant stems or suction hoses. Eventually the streaming water winds up at the corners of the thorny dragon’s mouth.

Where does the water come from? Falling rain, dew at night when things cool down, or a brush against moist plants or sand fills the grooves in his body. As the thorny lizard gulps water from the corners of its mouth, more water is sucked up through the grooves. In fact, a thorny dragon can actually drink by standing upright with one foot plunked in a puddle like a straw!

Our Creator shows His engineering genius in everything He makes, including this odd-looking desert creature with a built-in hydration pack.

Thorny Dragon

Photo: Theo Allofs |

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