No official population estimates are available for thorny devils as the species is not endangered. The lizards are common in the arid regions of the western half of Australia and prefer areas with sandy or sandy loam soils.
Thorny devils get their name from their spiky scales, which protect the animals from predators. The base of each spine is surrounded by a groove that helps collect water and direct it toward the animal's mouth. This adaptation allows the lizard to use water condensation as its primary water source. These slow-moving lizards feed only on ants and are prey for bustards, buzzards and goannas.