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Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps)Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata), Victoria, Australia.Bearded dragon (Pogona barbata)A Bearded Dragon at the Indianapolis ZooA Bearded Dragon (Pogona) in the Australian section of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
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Bearded Dragon Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Reptilia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Squamata
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Agamidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Pogona
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Pogona Vitticeps
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Reptile
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
50cm - 61cm (20in - 24in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
250g - 510g (9oz - 18oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
40km/h (25mph)
Lifespan:
How long the animal lives for
6 - 15 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Green,Yellow, Brown, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Scales
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
Insects
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Arid forest and desert
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
15
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Insects, Mice, Leaves
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Birds, Snakes, Crocodiles
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Pronounced beard when scared and morphs skin colour

Bearded Dragon Location

Map of Bearded Dragon Locations

Bearded Dragon

“A bearded dragon can change the color of its beard according to its mood”

 

Bearded dragons live in Central and Southern Australia. They are omnivores that can live to be 15 years or older. This animal uses the beard of spines under its chin to communicate its moods to other animals. A bearded dragon is cold-blooded, so it needs to live in warm temperatures. This reptile is a popular pet because it’s affectionate and curious.

 

5 Bearded Dragon Facts

• A bearded dragon can grow to be 2 feet long
• Some bearded dragons go into a type of hibernation in cold weather
• Bearded dragons live in woodlands, deserts and savannas
• These reptiles lay on rocks to sun themselves and raise their body temperature

 

Bearded Dragon Scientific Name

Bearded dragon is this reptile’s common name while its scientific name is Pogona Vitticeps. Look a little further into the taxonomy of this reptile and you'll see it belongs to the Agamidae family and its classification is Reptilia. The scientific name of this animal comes from the Greek words Pogona (Pogon) meaning beard and Vitticeps meaning striped beard.

 

Bearded Dragon Appearance and Behavior

A bearded dragon has yellowish, tan skin. It has a long body with a tail measuring more than half of its total length. A bearded dragon can measure up to 2 feet in length including its tail. An adult bearded dragon can weigh up to 18 ounces. Grab 2 cans of soup from your kitchen pantry and imagine that a bearded dragon’s weight is equal to about a can and a half.

This reptile has spines under its chin and along the sides of its body. Also, it has ear holes on the sides of its triangular head. A bearded dragon has four sturdy legs and sharp claws that help it to climb trees.

A bearded dragon protects itself from predators by changing color and blending into its environment. Plus, its scales and spiny skin help to protect it when a predator like a snake or hawk tries to grab it. When this animal feels threatened, it puffs up its spiny beard and opens its mouth to make itself appear larger to enemies.

Bearded dragons are shy, solitary animals except during mating season. They can be aggressive only when they feel their territory is being threatened. Also, males can be aggressive while choosing a mate.

The spiny beard of a bearded dragon helps it to communicate in many ways. When this reptile changes the color of its beard and quickly bobs its head it is trying to show dominance over another male. When a bearded dragon bobs its head slowly and raises one of its legs, it is showing that it’s not a threat to another dragon in the area.

Bearded Dragon On A Rock

 

Bearded Dragon Habitat

There are 8 species of bearded dragons that live across the continent of Australia. They live in arid and subtropical environments including savannas, woodlands and deserts. Lots of bearded dragons climb into trees and sit on branches to sun themselves. Being up so high allows them to be on the lookout for predators in the area. Plus, they can change skin color blending in with the branch they’re sitting on. Other bearded dragons sun themselves on rocks. If this reptile sees a predator while sunning itself on a rock, it scurries into a crack between rocks to hide underground.

When the cold weather season starts in the autumn, bearded dragons go into a type of hibernation called brumation. While in brumation, this reptile is not completely asleep like a bear would be. The difference is it doesn’t eat during this period but does drink water to stay hydrated.

 

Bearded Dragon Diet

 Bearded dragons are omnivores. They are not picky about their diet. They eat insects such as cockroaches, crickets and locusts. In addition, they will snack on flowers, fruit and leaves. Some bearded dragons eat lizards and small rodents such as mice.

These reptiles eat about once a day. If an adult bearded dragon is hunting crickets, it may eat 2 or 3 large ones. A baby bearded dragon that is growing quickly is likely to eat more than an adult reptile.

Fireflies and other insects that glow in the dark are poisonous to bearded iguanas. The chemical in a firefly’s body that makes it glow is harmful to a bearded dragon. In addition, bearded dragons do eat fruit, however avacodoes are poisonous to them.

 

Bearded Dragon Predators and Threats

Snakes, birds, dingoes, goannas and crocodiles are all predators of a bearded dragon. An owl may fly down to a branch to grab a bearded dragon that’s sunning itself. Or, a dingo may capture a bearded dragon that’s lying on a rock to get some sun in the afternoon. Though a bearded dragon can run up to 9 miles an hour, it isn’t as fast as some of its predators.

The habitat of bearded dragons is threatened. When trees are cut down or land cleared, bearded dragons have no place to live. Also, some bearded dragons are caught and sold as exotic pets in other countries. This reduces the population in the wild. Fortunately, there are preserves in Australia where bearded dragons are cared for and protected from both of these threats. Their official conservation status is Least Concern.

 

Bearded Dragon Reproduction, Babies and Lifespan

Bearded dragons mate in the spring and summertime. During mating season, a male bearded dragon bobs its head and stamps its feet to attract a female. A female can lay from 11 to 30 eggs at a time. After mating with one male, a female may lay two or three different groups of eggs that number 11 to 30. A female bearded dragon may lay 9 groups or clutches of eggs in one year. The gestation period of this reptile is 55 to 75 days. This is a lot shorter than an iguana’s which is 90 to 120 days.

It’s possible for the sex of a bearded dragon to change while it’s incubating. A developing male can develop into a female bearded dragon if the temperature during incubation is especially hot.

It takes about three days for a baby bearded dragon to break out of its egg. Its birth weight is around one ounce and it’ll be about 3 to 4 inches long. A baby bearded dragon that is 4 inches in length is just a little longer than a crayon.
Baby bearded dragons are sometimes called hatchlings. Once a female bearded dragon lays her eggs, she doesn’t see them again. They are on their own immediately after they hatch.

Bearded dragons live for about 15 years. Pet bearded dragons may live a little longer because of the lack of threat from predators. These reptiles are sometimes vulnerable to respiratory infections and parasites, but otherwise live healthy lives if they take in enough nutrition. The oldest bearded dragon is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. This bearded dragon named Sebastian lived to be 18 years old. He died in 2016 in England.

 

Bearded Dragon Population

The official conservation status of the bearded dragon is Least Concern. The population of these reptiles remains steady in Australia. Plus, there are over 900 bearded dragons living in zoos throughout the world. There are laws in Australia protecting bearded dragons from poachers who capture them and try to ship them out of the country. Today, many bearded dragons are bred outside of Australia.

 

Bearded Dragon FAQ

Are bearded dragons carnivores, herbivores or omnivores?

Bearded dragons are omnivores. They eat insects, fruit, leaves and sometimes rodents. What a bearded dragon eats depends on the food source available in the area. If there is a shortage of insects due to weather conditions, a bearded dragon may eat dry leaves for nourishment.

 

How do you take care of a bearded dragon?

If you have a bearded dragon as a pet, there are several things it needs to stay healthy. A spacious aquarium, branches to climb on, food and water bowls, a heat lamp, UVB light, nutritious food and a ventilated lid on the aquarium. One of the most important things to consider when caring for a bearded dragon is heat. They are cold-blooded animals that need the right amount and type of heat to keep them comfortable.

 

How do you tell the sex of a bearded dragon?

One way to determine the sex of your bearded dragon is to look at the base of its tail for hemipenal bulges. If your bearded dragon has them, then it’s a male. A second way to check your pet’s sex is to look for femoral pores on the underside of your bearded dragon’s back legs. If you see these pores, your pet is a male. A third way is to take a close look at your pet if you have two to compare. A male bearded dragon has a bigger head and body than a female.

 

Are bearded dragons friendly?

Yes. Bearded dragons are curious and affectionate. The only exception would be a male defending his territory during breeding season. Or, if a bearded dragon feels threatened by someone or something, it could act in an aggressive way.

 

How long does a bearded dragon live?

Bearded dragons usually live around 15 years. If they receive a balanced diet and avoid predators they can live long, healthy lives.

 

Are bearded dragons dangerous?

No. A wild bearded dragon will try to avoid human contact by escaping into a crevice or running up a tree. A tame bearded dragon that is a pet in someone’s home will probably want a lot of attention and affection from its owner.

 

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Bearded Dragon Translations

Deutsch
Bartagamen
English
Bearded Dragon
Esperanto
Barba agamo
日本語
アゴヒゲトカゲ属
Nederlands
Baardagame
Svenska
Skäggagam

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First Published: 25th November 2008, Last Updated: 19th March 2020

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 25 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 25 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 25 Nov 2008]