Australian Moloch

2 July, 2011

  

Moloch ( Moloch horridus) - Lizard, lives in the sandy semi-deserts and deserts in the the central and Western Australia.
Body length up to Moloch 22 centimeters, head is small and narrow, wide, flattened body is covered with numerous short curved horny spines of various sizes. The body color is a Moloch above brownish-yellow or reddish-brown with dark spots and a narrow ocher-yellow stripe, running along the middle of the back, bottom - light ocher with a pattern of dark bands. Moloch is able to change the color of the body, depending on temperature, lighting and the physiological state.

Active in the daytime.
Feeds exclusively on ants, foragers, which catches with sticky tongue. By producing food, Moloch is arranged near the ant tracks and captures the language of the emerging insects, without affecting those, who carries a big burden. But he tries not to exhale down, to the smell of formic acid did not cause an alarm. It has been estimated, that Moloch, one day can eat up to several thousand ants.

  

Moloch does not drink in the usual way. Instead, it "collects" rainwater or dew skin. It used to be, Moloch that is able to absorb the water wheel, like amphibians. But research, carried out using an electron microscope, have shown, it is not so. Caught in the skin, a drop of water under the action of capillary forces rush to the microscopic channels between the scales to the edges of the mouth and slowly swallowed a lizard. The mass of Moloch, after contact with water may increase by almost 30 %.

The female in September and December lays eggs in the burrow 03.10; babies hatch after 90-130 days.

Of the natural enemies of marked birds of prey and lizards.

The name of the lizard was named pagan god Molech, which, the legend, human sacrifices.

 

 

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