Bearded dragon sounds like a vicious and scary predator. But actually they are very popular pets in the US and UK. The name POGONA is the genus but they are widely known as Beardies. The name given due to their spiny scales behind the neck which puff out at times of threat or mating and looks like beard. You would find many hilarious videos on YouTube and social media of these creatures doing funny things. Most of the time you would see them sunbathing but, they are actually very interesting with many odd behaviors. So, let’s start about these beardies.
1. POGONA indicates that it is a Bearded dragon but, there are almost 8 different species of them native to Australia. Like,
- MINOR MINOR
- MINOR MITCHELL
- MINOR MINIMA
But, breeders created more varieties known as Morphs. Each of them are considered as exotic pets depending on their rarity. Some Morphs are like,
- Classic or standard
- Silk back
- German giants
2. These lizards are from Australia and can live in grasslands, deserts and less forests. But, in 1960 Australia banned to export from their wildlife and from 1960-1990 these creatures were smuggled and introduced in the US and UK as exotic pets. Recent days there are so many bearded dragons in captivity outside Australia.
3. Bearded dragon can grow up-to 17 inches but, some species can grow up-to 24 inches in length. They are omnivores, meaning their diet mostly consist of plants and vegetation but, cockroaches and small insects are also in their menu.
4. Unlike other lizard species, these dragons can’t regrow their tails or limbs. But they do regenerate their teeth. The back and side teeth are permanent but, the front teeth often get damaged while catching prey or tear meal. These teeth can regrow several times.
5. These lizards can lock their hind legs which make them able to stand and run like this. The behavior is believed to be an evolutionary fault, as the lizards run their center of gravity moves to back of the body which make them quicker and more maneuverable but, at speed they couldn’t keep the frontal legs on ground. This phenomenon is known as lift-off.
6. These creatures are calm and can be trained to walk on a leash. You can take your pet dragon for a walk in the park unless it finds food and runs at it. They can accelerate shocking fast and able to run at speed of 9 miles per hour. They also can swim. Although they live in dry places, they like to take dip or lie in swallow waters. While swimming they inflate their body with air to keep maintain the buoyancy and their swimming motion is just like a crocodile.
7. Bearded dragon also can sleep standing up on their hind legs. They often lean against something like the corner of vivarium or the foliage within it. It is certainly a strange sight.
8. The spiny scales tell their mood. When they get stressed, get threatened their spikes puff out, whereas their body feels smoother in touch while they are relaxed. Their scales also turn spiky and appears black like beard at times of mating preparation.
9. They can change their body color also. It can be surprising for the owner as the dragons shed their skin and reveal a new color. Not like a chameleon but, they can change their body color to dark in order to absorb more heat while the surrounding is cold and turns lighter at times of hot weather. The color changes are determined by their breed and can be found in brown, yellow, green or orange.
10. They like to climb. As these creatures are semi arboreal, they like to spend bulk time hanging from tree branches and sleep there soundly.
11. The most interesting and weirdest fact of bearded dragon is they can be two headed. They exhibit a characteristic called Bicephalism a zoological term of having two heads. They not only can have but, also can live with this abnormality which is truly weird in the entire animal kingdom.
12. These lizards don’t urinate liquid. As they belong from desert climate, their body Is well adapted to save water to stay hydrated. So, they don’t waste any drop of water even in terms of urinating. They release the uric acid in white powder form.
13. These creature wave their arms at each other to show interest, species recognition, submission or to communicate. They also bob their head up and down in order to meet, males do bob rapidly while the female bobs slowly.
14. These dragons like to live alone. You might have seem some of these dragons living together sharing the same habitat and stay one top of another. It is not what they like, instead it is showing of dominance as the bottom one is being dominated.
15. They are territorial, they not only puff their spikes out but, also hisses on the extruder to keep them out. They are venomous also. Although it is not effective for humans but, they do develop mild venom to catch prey.