10 interesting facts about Bearded dragons
Originating from Australia, the captive bred Bearded dragon makes for a gentle and friendly pet reptile. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about Bearded dragons, and why you might strongly consider bringing one into your life and home.
1 Bearded dragons are relatively new pets
Bearded dragons weren’t popular pets until around the 1990s. In South Africa, Bearded dragons became popular from about 1995. Since their introduction, they have flourished as pets and are now among the top 5 most kept reptiles (only surpassed by Leopard geckos, Corn snakes and Ball pythons) in the world.
2 Bearded dragons are docile by nature
Bearded dragons are considered to be one of the most easy-going and relaxed pets in the reptile world. Many keepers allow their Bearded dragon to sit on their lap and allow them to wonder outside in the garden or on the grass. They are easy to leash train and will even casually allow their owners to dress them in clothing.
3 Bearded dragons are still wild at heart
Because of their docile and calm nature, the domestication of Bearded dragons didn’t take long. Although you might find a wild-acting Bearded dragon from time to time, most are naturally easy to keep and handle. Even in nature, there are a lot of reports were people simply walked towards a Bearded dragon and picked it up.
4 It’s all in the beard
Bearded dragons got their name from the spiny projections under their necks that resemble a man’s beard. The beard area, also called the guller area, can be inflated during conflict or mating behaviour. This is to make them look bigger and more fearsome. Contrary to popular belief, the spines of Bearded dragons are actually non-prickly and soft to the touch.
5 Bearded dragons make interesting pets
Apart from being hardy and docile, Bearded dragons make very interesting pets. With their many different behaviours and mannerisms, they are a pleasure to observe and to interact with. Bearded dragons are diurnal by nature, meaning they are most active during the day. Almost each Bearded dragon can have its own personality and will respond differently when it is time for eating, sleeping, hunting and relaxing.
6 Bearded dragons are omnivores
Although crickets are the most commonly fed food, Bearded dragons are actually considered omnivores. This means they can eat and survive on both meat and plant materials. As pets, Bearded dragons can eat many things other reptiles cannot – including insects, small vertebrates, fruit, vegetables and even leafs and flowers. Also see what greens to feed Bearded dragons and foods not to feed to Bearded dragons for more information.
7 Bearded dragons are proliferous breeders
Bearded dragons are proliferous by nature and successful breeders. Breeding with Bearded dragons is easy and in most cases even unstoppable. A female Bearded dragon can lay between 20 to 30 eggs per clutch, 3 to 5 times per year. Also see Bearded dragon breeding for more information.
8 Bearded dragons like to climb
In nature, one would often find a Bearded dragon sitting high up on rocks. They are also often found in small trees, on fence posts and wall. This is to allow them the maximum amount of sun says to be able to bask and to absorb ultraviolet rays. Also see Bearded dragon basking behaviour and Bearded dragon UV lighting for more information.
9 Bearded dragons shed their skins regularly
Just like mythical dragons, a Bearded dragons’ skin is covered with dry scales – some spikey, some flat. As a Bearded dragon grows, the older, outer skin later need to make way for the newer, larger layers. In Bearded dragons, the skin is usually shed in patches, unlike in snakes, where the skin is usually shed in one piece.
10 Long live the Bearded dragon
As pets, Bearded dragons can live up to 10 years. When it comes to life span, this puts them in the same category as domesticated dogs. Although this is true, longevity is still dependant on a healthy lifestyle, prevention and treatment of disease, the correct variation of food, proper lighting and supplementation.