Australia is absolutely lousy with dragons. They are everywhere.
People are always, like, ‘Oh, Australia, it’s all snakes and spiders.’ Bullshit. It’s mostly dragons, dragons, dragons, as far as the eye can see. But what do we know about Australia’s 70-odd species of dragon? Well, we know a bunch—what do you know about Australia’s 70-odd species of dragon? I’ll wager not very much. And that’s not your fault. Australian schools removed Dragon Studies from the national curriculum in 1957 to make room for Home Economics (sewing and making cakes). Lucky for you, our mates at Little Dragon Ginger Beer (it’s got alcohol!) have asked us to bring the Monster Children readers up to speed on a handful of dragons. Let’s get into it!
The Bearded Dragon (Pogona Barbata)
There are a few varieties of Bearded Dragon in Australia, but none of them have real beards. They all have flat bodies, wide heads and short legs, but they don’t have beards because they are reptiles and do not produce hair. The ‘beard’ of the bearded dragon is just an extra bit they scored when God was handing out the necks. Bearded Dragons eat fruit, leaves, beetles, ants, and smaller lizards, and they enjoy nothing more than pausing atop a rock on a hot day and staring into space. When it rains, Bearded Dragons do handstands so that the drops run down their body and into their mouths. No shit. That’s how they get a drink. And they can hold this position for up to half an hour!
The Thorny Dragon (Moloch horridus)
Who’s this handsome little bastard? He’s the Thorny Dragon, that’s who, and he’ll thank you to watch your Ps and Qs if you don’t mind, mate. The Thorny Dragon is also known as the Thorny Devil, and he likes to eat ants. He is covered in thorny spines and has a thorny fake head up near his thorny arse to ward off predators. Thorny Dragons have a comically wide and jerky gait, and they like nothing better than strutting around like drunk cowboys through Western Australia, the southern half of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Queensland. They can grow to 20 cm long and they are pretty cute. Also, they absorb water through their feet. That’s how they drink: standing in puddles. Genius.
The Frilled Neck Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii)
This boy is a classic. If you were around before 1992, you might recognize him from the 2-cent coin. Can you believe we had a 2-cent coin? It only existed for the purchase of 2 cent lollies, which was a thing back then. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, Frilly boy. Have a look at him. Gorgeous. He eats ants, cicadas, spiders, small lizards, termites, lit cigarettes, fun-size Snickers, and small mammals (mice and the like). The frill around his neck pops open like an umbrella when he feels threatened, and he runs on his back legs when he’s in a hurry, which is hilarious. Frill-necks live in Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea and, for the most part, you’ll find them fucking about in the branches of trees.
The Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii)
You’ll be lucky if you ever see a Water Dragon in the wild because they are very shy and will run away or plop into the water when they hear people coming. Water Dragons are semi-aquatic and can chill underwater for about an hour. Their diet consists of ants, spiders, crickets, caterpillars, small mice, and novels by Bryce Courtenay. They live in eastern Australia, all the way from Victoria to Queensland, and they have huge cocks. Water Dragons are low-temperature boys and they like laying out in the sun every chance they get. Also, worth noting—they wave to each other. Fast waves mean ‘What are you lookin’ at?’ And slow waves mean ‘Relax, bro. I don’t want any trouble.’
Heath Dragon (Ctenophorus adelaidensis)
This dragon’s name is Heath. Hi, Heath. Heath also happens to be a Heath Dragon. Heath the Heath Dragon lives somewhere along the lower coast of Western Australia, between Kalbarri and Perth. There he and his friends scuttle about and investigate the world. Unlike other dragons, Heath dragons are inquisitive and rarely run away when approached because they’re very keen on meeting new people who might have pockets full of crickets for them to eat (they love crickets). Heath Dragons are nowhere near as fast on their feet as other dragons, so they rely heavily on ‘stink-eye’ when encountering a threat and, like their cousins the Water Dragons, they also have massive cocks.