The bearded dragon is a wonderful pet that has captured the hearts of reptile enthusiasts around the world. Not only are they easy to take care of, but they also have really great temperaments and fun loving personalities. It’s no surprise they’re one of the most popular reptile pets today.
From the outside looking in, people who don’t know much about bearded dragons might think they’re boring reptiles. I’m here to assure them they are, in fact, very wrong. Here are 7 surprising bearded dragon facts that make them even more awesome than you think.
Bearded Dragons Are Indigenous to Australia
When you think of Australia, you might think of common Australian animals such as the kangaroo, koala or platypus. However, there are some animals that aren’t as unusual but still really great, such as the bearded dragon.
In Australia, these animals can be found just about anywhere. They’ll be seen crawling up fences, relaxing on tree branches or basking in the sun on your drive way. They are common reptiles that co-exist with humans even in residential areas all around Australia.
They Were Illegally Exported Reptiles
Around the 1960’s, Australia decided that wildlife should not to be exported out of the continent. But that didn’t stop people from doing so. Bearded dragons were illegally smuggled out of Australia between the 70’s and 90’s. And those that got their hands on one began to breed them to become domestic pets for the common people all over the world.
Today, these reptiles are no longer smuggled out. Thank you Australia for letting us have some of your wonderful lizards.
They Actually Have a Beard…Sometimes
Have you ever wondered why these lizards are called the “bearded” dragons? At first glance, you don’t really see anything that resembles a beard. That’s because they’re in a docile or non-aggressive state.
When a dragon is displaying dominance, especially from one male to another male, they will throw out their throats and puff up. That behavior is followed by a change in the throats color, quickly going from their normal skin color to a dark blackish color – like a beard of a man.
A Bearded Dragon’s Tail Doesn’t Grow Back
When I was a small kid, I used to chase lizards around my house trying to catch them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, and often times I just get a piece of their tail. From that experience, I believed that all lizards could regenerate their tails. Boy, was I wrong.
The bearded dragon is one of the few lizard reptiles that cannot regenerate their tail. Don’t try to grab them by the tails because it hurts them and they can’t evade you by dislocating their tail. The tail is actually a very important part of a dragon because it’s where they store their fats and other nutrients. Tails are also good indicators of how much food they’re receiving and their overall health. The fatter the tail, the better.
A Bearded Dragon Will Hibernate
A beardie will have long periods of time where they shut down for a few months. Although it’s not exactly hibernating, it’s a similar occurrence called brummation.
Although these reptiles have been domesticated for over 20 years, they still have their animal instincts. These creatures have an amazing biological clock and will start to hibernate because it’s time to hibernate in Australia.
They Are Prolific Breeders
These reptiles are amazing breeders. A male dragon can usually have several mates and the female dragon can have up to 20 bearded dragon eggs at a time. Surprisingly, the female can store sperm to use when she has eggs to fertilize. So before you decide to buy a male and a female, think very carefully about what may happen. Do you really want to raise 20 baby bearded dragons within your enclosure? Many owners make this mistake and end up with more than they can handle or give away.
I should also note that constant breeding can drastically decrease the life span of your bearded dragon. So, try not to overwork a female beardie.
They’re Good at Communicating With Each Other
A big reason why so many people find the bearded dragon amusing is because of the behaviors they use to communicate with one another. These behaviors include the arm wave, flared up beard, head bob, push-ups, opened mouth and so much more.
For example, when two males meet each other, you might see one start bobbing its head up and down. This is that dragon’s attempt to establish dominance over the other dragon. Now, if the other dragon doesn’t want to fight or wants to submit, he will raise his arm and slowly move in a counter-clock direction. The head-bobbing dragon will understand and any fighting will be avoided. I guess these reptiles do a good job working things out on their own.
So these are my 7 favorite bearded dragon facts. If you have a fact that I missed, please leave them in the comments section below!