The bearded dragon, also known as "beardie," is a desert species of lizard that has become one of the most popular reptiles. Their docile and mellow personality make them unlike their scaled relatives, and their striking appearance makes them truly incredible animals. Here's everything you need to know about bearded dragons!
Description and Appearance
Bearded dragons have a stout body and a broad head with a spiny jaw. They come in a variety of colors, including shades of yellow, orange, red, green, and brown. They often have dark spots or stripes on their backs and tails. The most distinguishing feature of bearded dragons is their long beard—hence the name—which is made of soft, spiny scales. The beard is often yellow, orange, or tan in color. Males usually have a larger and more pronounced beard than females.
The most important anatomical feature is the lizard's tail. The tail is used for balance when they are climbing trees and bushes, so if their tail is broken off, it will grow back eventually. But it can take a while and the new tail may not be exactly the same as the old one.
Bearded dragons have special bones called ossicles that help protect them from predators. They also have spiny scales on their back, neck, and head that they can puff out to look bigger and scarier when threatened. The temperature of their environment helps them control the size of these spines.
Bearded dragons also have a special dewlap that hangs under their chin like a beard. They will use this dewlap to show off to females and other males, but they may also puff it out for protective purposes. If anything, you can puff out Gage Beasley’s Lifelike Bearded Dragon Pogona Lizard Soft Stuffed Plush Toy, too! It isn’t quite the real thing, but man is it close. It’s got the scales, the beard, and the exact color. It’s the perfect bedside friend if you ask me.
Bearded dragons can range from 8 to 24 inches in length, not including the tail. They typically weigh around 4 ounces when adults.
Bearded dragons are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. They are semi-arboreal, meaning they spend some time climbing trees and bushes, but they also spend a lot of time on the ground. Since they are native to arid areas, bearded dragons need a special environment in order to thrive. They have a very docile and mellow personalities. They are shy around strangers but will warm up to you over time. They are known for their calm temperament and often enjoy being held and petted.
Bearded dragons are omnivores and eat a variety of foods. They usually prefer insects, but they will also eat fruits, vegetables, and other plant materials.
In the wild, bearded dragons eat a diet that is mostly made up of insects. They eat a wide variety of insects, including crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and roaches. They will also eat any other insect that comes their way! In captivity, the most common food for a bearded dragon is crickets; however, you can feed them waxworms and mealworms as well.
Treats such as fruits and vegetables are important to the diet of a bearded dragon as well. Bearded dragons like a variety of fruits and vegetables, so offer them a few different options every day. Some good choices include apples, grapes, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. You can also feed them dark, leafy greens like kale.
Bearded dragons are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. They typically lay 2-14 eggs, but some females have been known to lay up to 30 eggs.
The breeding season for bearded dragons is usually from September to March, but it can vary depending on the climate. Bearded dragons can be bred in captivity, but it is important that they have a healthy diet and a safe environment in order to reproduce successfully. When it's time for breeding, the female will refuse food and be more aggressive than normal.
After mating, the gestation period for bearded dragons is usually around 2 months, but it can vary between 1-3 months long. If she lays eggs, the female will bury them in the sand and leave them to hatch on their own. The eggs will incubate for about 55-60 days.
When the eggs hatch, the baby bearded dragons will be around 3 inches long. They are independent from birth and can fend for themselves immediately. Baby bearded dragons require plenty of hiding places and branches in order to climb on, as well as a reservoir of water.
Distribution and Conservation Status
In the wild, bearded dragons are found in arid regions of Australia. They need special environments to thrive and typically live in warm, dry areas with lots of sun exposure.
Bearded dragons have been introduced to other parts of the world, including Europe and North America. They are not considered invasive species because they do not negatively impact the environment they are introduced to.
Bearded dragon owners should take care to ensure their lizard does not escape into the wild. If you live in an area where bearded dragons are not native, it is important to keep your lizard contained.
Bearded dragons are not currently threatened or endangered because they have a very large range. In Australia, there are multiple species of the genus Pogona, but only one species, Pogona vitticeps, is found in the pet trade.
Bearded dragons are not protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. They also do not receive any special legal status in the United States under the Endangered Species Act or the Lacey Act.
The majority of Pogona spp. species and subspecies are not protected under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. However, two subspecies of Pogona barbata (the northern and central bearded dragons) are listed as vulnerable. This means they may become endangered if their conservation status worsens.
Bearded dragons are popular pets, and their popularity is likely to continue to grow. They breed well in captivity and are great starter pets for kids. Make sure to do your research before buying a bearded dragon, so you know what to expect.
Bearded dragons can live an average of 5-7 years in captivity if they are cared for properly.
Bearded dragons are popular pets and make good starter lizards for kids. They require a warm, dry environment with plenty of sun exposure to thrive. Bearded dragons can be bred in captivity, and the eggs will incubate for about 55-60 days. Baby bearded dragons are independent from birth and can fend for themselves immediately. They require a reservoir of water and plenty of hiding places to climb on. Bearded dragons are popular pets, but they must be contained to keep wild specimens from being released into non-native areas.
Bearded Dragons are not currently threatened or endangered because they have a very large range. However, two subspecies of Pogona barbata are listed as vulnerable. In Australia, there are multiple species of the genus Pogona, but only one species, Pogona vitticeps, is found in the pet trade. Bearded dragons are not protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. They also do not receive any special legal status in the United States under the Endangered Species Act or the Lacey Act. The majority of Pogona spp. species and subspecies are not protected under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The primary threats bearded dragons face are habitat loss and degradation. Bearded dragons need a lot of open space to run and bask in the sun. They also require access to water. As the human population grows, more and more land is being developed, which is reducing the amount of habitat available for bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons are also commonly killed by cars. They often try to cross roads in order to get to new areas, and they can easily be hit by oncoming traffic.
Like humans, they can also suffer from health problems if they are not kept in the correct environment. Pet owners should research how to care for bearded dragons before getting one.
All that aside, bearded dragons are, first of all, cool-looking animals with a cool name to pair. Secondly, they're just like any animal in the wild. I'm sure they'd make for great pets, but their true homes are out there in the wild. Though their conservation status is greenlit, it isn't long before their threats catch up to them. If you do own a bearded dragon yourself, try to be mindful of what they need. If you do, then you're just as cool as the bearded dragon itself.