Covered in spikes, the Thorny Devil is a fearsome-looking lizard.
In fact, it is totally harmless. At 20 centimetres long, this slow-moving creature feeds exclusively on ants – over 1,000 a day!
Living in arid areas of Australia, those spikes come in extremely useful. They help funnel rain and moisture to its mouth via grooves in its skin.
The spikes are difficult to swallow too, deterring would-be predators.
When threatened, the Thorny Devil dips its head, presenting the knob on its neck as a kind of false head. This is also useful in surviving an attack.
Another amazing thing about the Thorny Devil is that it can change colour, providing camouflage in the desert or spinifex.
One of Australia’s most remarkable reptiles, the Thorny Devil is superbly depicted on this 2014 1oz silver proof coin.
With a mintage of just 5,000, the coin is presented in a wooden presentation case accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.