Facts about Bearded Dragons

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1 . A kind of Lizard

Bearded Dragons are a kind of lizard whose origin is Australia. However, since 1990s, these lizards are found in most pet shops across the U.S. Bearded dragons have become some of the most popular reptiles. They derive their name from their ability to enlarge their throats when defending their territory or under threat which makes the throat resemble a beard.

2. Habitation

Bearded dragons naturally inhabit arid rocky areas, deserts, shrub lands and dry forests. They are mainly found in central and eastern parts of Australian. These lizards prefer to live on trees and in bushes; they can be seen basking on rocks. Most bearded dragons have been moved from their natural habitations due to pet trade. However, their populations in the wild remain stable and they are not endangered.

 3. Physical Appearance

Average sized bearded dragons have a length of between 13 and 24 inches. Their tails tend to be half the length of the entire body. The color of a bearded dragon body is tannish yellow in color. They have triangular heads with spines on either sides of the abdomen, head and on the throat. Their muscular bodies are supported by strong legs.

4. Distinct Male and Female Features

Several distinct features distinguish male bearded dragons from females. Males have darker, longer beards and wider heads compared to females. Generally, male bearded dragons are larger than females. Female bearded dragons also have more slender and thinner tails than their male counterparts.

 5. Feeding and Predators

Bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles that consume both animal and plant based diets. They mostly feed on small rodents, leafy plants, lizards and insects. Their main predators include dingoes, large lizards and birds of prey. Bearded dragons do not have the ability to detach their tails when escaping from predators like other lizards. In case they lose their tails, they remain tailless.

 6. Greeting other members

Bearded dragons have a specific way of greeting other group members or showing submission in the presence of more dominant males. They greet or show submission by standing on three legs and rotating the forth leg in the air. When threatened bearded dragons show a scary appearance that features a flattened body and an enlarged throat.

 7. Temperature Regulation

Bearded dragons regulate temperatures in their bodies by changing shades of their skin color from dark to light or light to dark. They do not run very fast and only manage a speed of nine miles per hour.

 8. Breeding   

Bearded dragons reach sexual maturity after 8 to 12 months. They do not have a particular breeding period and can breed throughout the year. However, they mostly breed during summer between September and March. Males use their beards to stage mating displays particularly during courtship rituals. After mating, females lay eggs in clutches of 24 eggs in a burrow. Incubation takes 50 to 70 days after which 3 to 4 inch long hatchlings emerge.

 9. Social Interactions

Mature bearded dragons are more territorial and tend to put up social hierarchies where appeasing and aggressive displays form part of social interactions. These lizards use their beards to display aggressions. Their beards inflate and become dark during displays. In addition, they gape with their mouths open to appear intimidating. Males tend to bob their heads up and down as a show of dominance to females they wish to mate with or insubordinate males.

 10. Great Pets

Bearded dragons make good reptile pets because they feed on a wide range of foods and do not grow too large. They are gentle lizards that are active during daytime. They are captive bred friendly reptiles with limited care needs, inexpensive and readily available. Bearded dragons can live for 4 to 10 years.

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