grow to a length of 65 cms and usually lives in loose colonies.
There is rarely one burrow on its own but usually several, at
some 20 to 50 m distance from its neighbour. Colonies can extend
over large areas, depending on the availability of food. Feeding
on shrubs, the spiny-tailed lizard never drinks water and has
special glands that help its body to dispose of uric acid. The
spiny-tailed lizard, called 'dhab' locally, often allows other
creatures, such as snakes, scorpions and hedgehogs to share its
burrow. Despite its dragon-like appearance it is a very placid
animal that prefers to flee rather than enter into conflict. If
cornered, however, it can give painful blows with its spiny tail.
With its strong jaws that have no teeth, but possess sharp bone
plates, it can give a nasty bite. The dhab used to be a welcome
source of protein for the bedouin and the strong leather of its
skin was widely used.