Bearded dragon basking behaviour
Like most lizards, Bearded dragons are exothermic and poikilothermic. This means they rely on external heat sources for body heat. In nature, Bearded dragons absorb heat from basking in the sun. During the hotter parts of the day, these lizards will often choose to lie on rocks, tree trunks or fence poles to bask.
Absorbing heat from the sun increases the body temperature of Bearded dragons. This aid in the digestion of food and other physiological body functions. Basking behaviour in Bearded dragons also allows for the absorption of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays which aids reptiles with calcium absorption. As pets, Bearded dragons like to bask especially after meals.
Basking in Bearded dragons is an instinctive behaviour seen as the need to spend much time in warm/lit areas. During basking, a Bearded dragon is inactive. They might be alert or might be taking a nap, some will show waving behaviour. Bearded dragons will often climb to higher areas in order to get more exposure. When they climb and sit on top of each other it is also believed to be part of this behaviour.
Abnormal basking behaviour is when a Bearded dragon spends no, or too little, time basking. This behaviour should be observed frequently during the day. There are many causes for Bearded dragons not to bask:
First ensure correct heating and lighting. Basking behaviour can also be stimulated allowing outside basking in natural sunlight on a sunny day. Inside, a 60 Watt spotlight about 20 cm / 8 ” above a normal disinfected rock works well also works. The temperature on the rock should be about 34 ºC / 93 ºF. In order to supply full spectrum ultraviolet the UV lamp should also be installed within 30 cm / 12 ” from the basking rock.
Routine veterinary visits are recommended to get the best health-related advice.
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