Know Your Bearded Dragon

Explore their history, habits, diet, and behavior

If you’ve ever wished for a PET DRAGON that’s dashing, handsome, friendly, and doesn’t breathe real fire, Bearded Dragon is worth considering.

Common/ Vernacular Name:        Bearded Dragon

Scientific Name:      Pogona

Type:  Reptiles

Diet:   Omnivore

Average Life Span:  4 to 10 years

Weight:         10 to 18 Ounce (0.28 to 0.5 Kgs)

Size:   18 to 22 inches (45 to 55 cm) (Tail is more than half of size)

Pogona word originates from the Greek word ‘pogon‘, meaning beard. It refers to the loose skin below jaws that dragons push forward and ‘puff up’ when threatened.

The Bearded Dragon lives like a Dragon, equipped with the Armor of Spiny Reptilian Scales. This includes a “Beard” of spikes underneath its chin that also puffs up according to its mood. All eight species of bearded dragons are known as “Beardies”.

Here are some facts about bearded dragons. The Bearded Dragon is one of the most popular reptile pets. It tends to be gentle, inquisitive, social, and active during the day.

The most common species to have as a pet among beard dragons is the Central Bearded Dragon or Pogona Vitticeps (Scientific Name of Bearded Dragon) also known as the inland Bearded Dragon.

Bearded Dragons have a low and wide profile to hug the surface which enables them to climb. With the help of a long tail, they maintain balance. So, what about the beard? It’s not hairy, but rather some loose, moveable skin that hangs below the chin and gives the effect of a beard. The common colors of this pet are dusty yellow, gray-brown, and rusty red.

Some sexual attributes are also present which allows distinguish males and females. Males can be distinguished from females by a wider cloacal opening (rear opening), wider base of the tail (due to wider opening), a larger head and a larger beard, and possession of hemipenes (works much like a human penis). Males also have typically darker beards than females.

In the wild, bearded dragons are naturally found in Australia in warm, arid areas like deserts, subtropical woodlands/ forests, scrublands, grasslands, and savannas. Australia banned the export of dragons in 1960 but they are easily available in the US as they are bred for pet trade. They come in a variety of colors “morphs” which are not commonly found in nature.

They are a warm atmosphere habitat and it’s very important or let us say crucial for bearded dragons. They rely on external heat to raise their body temperature as they are cold-blooded and unable to maintain their temperature. They relax their body in the sun and burrow underground in the presence of any predators. They can be found on fence posts and trees as they are semi-arboreal.

Omnivores are animals that can eat plants as well as animals. The term originates from the Latin words Omnis, meaning “All or everything”, and Voeare meaning “to devour or eat”.

As bearded dragons are omnivores, they eat plants and animals. Their strong jaws allow them to eat hard-shelled insects, lizards, and rodents and they can also go for leaves, fruits, flowers, etc.

To know more about the bearded dragon diet, Read, “What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? FAQ” and “The Comprehensive Bearded Dragon Feeding Guide“.

They are known to be territorial and adult bearded dragons may display behavior of aggression and hostility to protect their turf from other males. They also fight for food and females. They also attack females who don’t show submissive behavior towards them.

The important way to communicate is their beard, both male and female has it. When it feels threatened, a bearded dragon makes himself appear bigger by opening its mouth, raising its chin puffing out its beard, and hissing to show aggression.

The other way of communication is by changing the color of their beards and bobbing their heads. They show dominance with a quick head bob, whereas they may show submission by slow bob and arm wave.

When the light changes and the temperature falls, especially in winter or in fall, some bearded dragons may go through brumation. Brumation is a type of hibernation in which they stop eating and only consume water periodically. 

Read, “6 Different Bearded Dragon Behaviors that Can Indicate Illness“, “Unveiling the Meaning Behind 5 Adorable Behaviors Exhibited by Bearded Dragons“, “4 Aggressive Bearded Dragon Behaviors to Look Out For“, “8 Common Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Puffed Up“, and “10 Common Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Closing Eyes“.

A male bearded dragon shows a courtship ritual by pounding its feet on the ground, waving its arms, and node its head. In this way, they attract the attention of females. When mating, the male bites the back of the female neck.

The unusual capacity of female bearded dragons allows them to store a large capacity of sperms which allows them to lay two separate clutches of 10 to 30 eggs from a single mating.

The Bearded Dragon embryo’s sex can be changed by changing the incubation temperature. The high temperature results in females whereas normal temperature results in males. The warmer temperature during incubation also makes them slow learners.

Bearded Dragons are average-sized, attractive, cool, social pets with a life span of 10 years or more. They come in several colors which make them more appealing. Their habits and behavior make them unique and cool as pets. The diet of beard dragons is easy to arrange as they rely on flowers, insects, fruits, etc. They can stay happy in their tanks and can communicate through their beard and changing colors.

In short, if you are looking for a cool, attractive, easy-to-care pet with a long life span, a bearded dragon is one of the most considerable choices.

Read, “Know Your Bearded Dragon – Explore their history, habits, diet, and behavior“.

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