Bearded Dragons are medium size lizards that are naturally found in the arid regions of Australia. They belong to the Agamidae lizard family. They have a triangular shaped head with a large mouth and a row of horns. Their bodies are somewhat flat and have a row of spikes along each side. When they are fully grown they can reach sizes from 18-24 inches.
How did they get named Bearded Dragon?
They get their name from a defense mechanism, when they feel threatened or coerced, it will flare it’s throat (beard) to make its head look much larger than it really is. Also, while doing this it’s beard will often be dark grey or black in coloring.
The different Species
There are eight species of bearded dragons. The most common one kept as a pet is the Inland Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
- Eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata)
- Dwarf bearded dragon (Pogona minor)
- Inland or central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
- Western bearded dragon (Pogona minima)
- Small-scaled or Drysdale River bearded dragon (Pogona microlepidota)
- Mitchell’s northwest bearded dragon (Pogona mitchelli)
- Nullabor bearded dragon (Pogona nullabor)
- Rankin’s or Lawson’s bearded dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni)
Keeping Bearded Dragons as pets
Due to several factors, bearded dragons have become very popular pets. Bearded Dragons are very friendly and have a docile, almost submissive attitude. They also enjoy being held and petted, which makes them a very good pet reptile for children.
Bearded dragons are very easy to care for so as long as they have a proper habitat and are fed a proper diet. They are one of the easiest pets to maintain.
Bearded dragons have one of the most unique appearances among reptile pets, which make them very attractive to the enthusiast. They have a very wide range of colors, with the most common being orange, red and yellow. In the last few years many breeders have bred them to include pastel colors.
They only grow to be about 18-24 inches, which is a very manageable size compared to iguanas. Bearded dragons are very hardy pets, with basic health care they can easily live to be 10-15 years old in captivity and do not have specific health requirements like many other lizards such as chameleons or turtles.