Bearded Dragon Facts
There are many bearded dragon facts unique to this surprisingly amiable and loving lizard. Some are not surprising, others are just crazy. Check these facts out and learn something uniquely “beardie”!
Popularity as Exotic Pets on the Rise
Bearded dragons are definitely not as cute and adorable as puppies or kittens. In fact, many people are afraid of these creatures and the last thing they’d ever think of doing is keeping a bearded dragon as a pet.
However, there is no doubt that the popularity of bearded dragons (Beardies) is on the rise. This is due to the tireless efforts of beardie hobbyists, breeders, and owners spreading the word that bearded dragons are wonderful pets.
Docile, Loving, and Child-Safe
Despite their bulging eyes, reptile appearance, and a long tail which gives the impression that they’re dangerous, bearded dragons are docile by nature and love attention. These little creatures make great pets for children since they are smaller sized, not aggressive in general making them safe, and hardy.
Species – Pogona Vitticeps
The most common bearded dragon species is the Pogona Vitticeps. These little dragons can range from 4 inches up to 24 inches depending on the species.
Growth Size is Dependent on the Captive Environment
An interesting point to note is that the bearded dragon’s size is dependent on his housing environment. This means if a bearded dragon is in a small tank while he is growing, he cannot grow to his full size. If he is in a tank large enough to accommodate a two-foot dragon, your male beardie grows up to 24 inches and your female beardie grows up to around 18 inches. Size is also determined by the health level of food given. A healthy beardie that has proper nourishment and a good diet grows bigger and stronger than a malnourished beardie.
How to Determine How Big He Will Grow
By measuring a beardie from his head to his tail gives an estimate about how old he is.
How Long Does a Bearded Dragon Live?
A bearded dragon lives anywhere from 5 to 12 years depending on the care he receives. Most beardies in the wild live up to 8 years. A beardie in captivity, under the watchful eyes of a loving owner, lives up to 12 years old, if fed well and housed properly.
Fun Bearded Dragon Facts: Unusual Characteristics Responsible for Their Name
One of the most unique bearded dragon facts is how bearded dragons got their name. It is because of the scales and spikes that surround their head resembling a beard.
These spikes flare up when the beardie feels threatened. It’s a defense mechanism that is designed to scare away any potential danger. Also, the more threatened or discontent your beardie is the more areas on his body turn black, starting with his beard. Some black on his face, beard, and neck show he is upset. When most of his body turns black, he is extremely agitated, very pissed off. Most likely hissing and very upright posturing occur.
Causes are improper handling, dislike of a person, a threat such as a cat nearby, and other things the beardie perceives as annoying, irritating, or threatening.
What They Eat
Bearded dragons are omnivorous (eating both plants and animals). If you’re a bearded dragon owner or thinking of becoming one, it is crucial that you know what beardies should eat and more importantly, what they should not eat. There are some foods that cause problems and even death if fed to your dragon.
Generally, these little dragons love nibbling on insects such as cockroaches, beetles, worms, moths, and crickets. Other than insects, they’ll also eat fruit and vegetables. Sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, melons, and greens are all excellent nutritious foods to feed your beardie. Healthy, nutritious food combined with the proper supplements in the correct amounts is the most important factor in ensuring your bearded dragon is strong and lives to a ripe old age.
Some of the major foods to avoid are spinach, iceberg lettuce, avocados, insects that glow in the dark, and wild insects. It may seem a good idea to let your beardie dig around in your garden for insects but this is not recommended. Insects from the wild can have parasites on them which transfer over to your beardie. The result—a visit to the herp vet and possibly a very large bill. It’s true that in the wild, beardies forage for their own food. However, in the wild, beardies only live up to 6 or 8 years. In captivity, your beardie lives up to 12 years. So, it’s best to get your feeder insects from a pet store or reputable supplier.
One of the strangest bearded dragon facts is never feed your beardie live insects that are longer than the width between his eyes. For more information about this strange fact and what to feed your beardie, refer to How and What to Feed Your Dragon to Keep It Healthy and Happy.
Origination Contributes to the Bearded Dragons Needs
Bearded dragons are originally from Australia which has extremely strong sunlight. Due to this, bearded dragons in captivity need UV light for about 8 to 10 hours daily. The UV light has to be of very high intensity. I recommend a vivarium that is no taller than 24 inches in height and purchasing a fluorescent tube the length of the vivarium. This allows UV light to shine on your dragon wherever he is in his lair. As such, the light can penetrate your pet’s skin effectively. Also, recommended is a screened top with nothing on it to block the UV light. Refer to Creating a Dragon’s Lair – Make Your Dragon Feel At Home for more information about the proper house for your bearded dragon.
As a beardie owner, you need reference guides. Learn as much as you can to successfully keep your beardie around for an optimal time. It is such a rewarding experience! Responsibility and knowledge are key to successful Bearded Dragon management.
There are several excellent guides available. The list to the left provides you with several choices. They are a great investment for both you and your pet, taking the guess-work out of the equation.
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