Bearded Dragon Facts

Physical appearance

Bearded dragons are lizards with non-retractable claws. They are called Bearded Dragons because of their folded skin, with sharp scales under their throat. Its body is also covered with thorns.

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What color are bearded dragons?

There are bearded dragons of a wide variety of colors, including brown, gray, green, reddish, and orange.

Size

The bearded dragon can be 16 to 24 inches long. Adult males can weigh 450 g and are larger than females.

Diet

Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and vegetables. However, their diet must be as varied as possible to avoid malnutrition pathologies.

What can a bearded dragon eat?

Small insects can be offered to them when they are young to later introduce other foods, such as small worms and crickets apart from fruit and vegetables such as cabbage and carrots. At young ages they ingest more protein through insects or small live prey, while adults base their intake on fruits and vegetables, decreasing the protein percentage of the diet.

bearded dragon on sand

Water

Do bearded dragons like being in water?

The bearded dragon is a lizard that comes from the deserts and savannas of Australia, so it is not at ease in a well of water all the time, in fact, the humidity in its space does not do the bearded dragon any good.

Do bearded dragons drink any water?

Yes, of course. They should be provided with a small container of clean water at all times for them to drink.

When should I provide water with the most to my bearded dragon?

In very high temperatures seasons or when the bearded dragon shed skin, it helps to provide a not so deep container of water where it can refresh itself, which also facilitates the skin change.

Temperature and lighting

Do bearded dragons need special light?

As diurnal animals, they depend on UV light for the synthesis of vitamin D which enables them to maintain a correct calcium metabolism. You can meet this need with a mercury vapor or fluorescent bulb to provide ultraviolet light. It is advisable to have light and dark periods of 12 hours each.

At what temperature should by bearded dragon tank be?

The temperature of the tank should be in a range of 24 ºC during the night and in general temperature of 30ºC, with a heat zone close to 35-40 ºC. To check the temperature of the tank constantly, it is necessary to place a thermometer at each end of the tank.

How can I know my bearded dragon is comfortable?

One way to know if your lizard is comfortable, it is to observe how it responds to the temperature of the environment. When is cold, it flattens its body to receive the heat perpendicularly to its body. When is too warm, it opens its mouth to lose body heat. If the animal spends all the time with the mouth open, then the temperature inside the tank is too high. If the temperature exceeds 43°C permanently, the lizard could even die.

Housing

Size: a 20 L tank is good to start for a baby lizard, upgrade accordingly to its growth. A glass terrarium or tank of at least 40 gallons to 75 in volume is good for an adult lizard to be happy in.

Habitat: Provide an environment similar to its natural one that satisfies the particular needs of the species. The "ground" of its tank should have deep or hidden "places" to satisfy the bearded dragon need for cover. It should also have branches and rocks either to hide or for basking. This lizard is originally from a deserted area, therefore humidity must be below 50%.

A reptile carpet or calcium sand is good for the "ground" of your lizard.

Behavior

How can I expect my bearded dragon to behave towards me?

Is usually very sociable and nice towards his owners, especially when it has become accustomed to them.

Even though it is a compliant animal, is very territorial.

At night time, it goes to a little visible place to rest.

Is it friendly with other bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons have their own hierarchy, so it is not a good idea to place two males together or two different species of lizard in the same tank. The behave fine with the female of the same species.

photo bearded dragon in the garden

Health

There are immediate signals of illness in your bearded dragon if the lizard:

  • Stays hidden for too long or much longer than usual.
  • Doesn't eat
  • Presents an uncommon discoloration in its skin
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling
  • Skin abrasion
  • Labored breathing
  • Abnormal feces

If you see any of the previous symptoms in your lizard, take it to the vet.

Average lifespan

How long does a bearded dragon live?

A bearded dragon can live up to 10 years but, up to 20 years is documented, this can depend on many factors including a proper care from the owners.

Are bearded dragon harmful to humans?

Do bearded dragons have teeth?

Yes. Bearded dragons have teeth that allow them to eat small vertebrates, but they DO NOT bite their owners unless they are not accustomed to them and see them as threats. The way to avoid this is to get the lizard accustomed to your presence, feeding it directly by hand is one way.

bearded dragons teeth

What causes a bearded dragon to bite?

  • Food: If the lizard smells food in your hand, it will bite quickly, but when it realizes that it is not food, it will stop biting immediately, since they are quite docile.
  • Distress: If it feels threatened or scared it will try to bite.
  • Mishandling: if you try to touch it in a way that mishandles the lizard, it will bite to show its discontent.

Can you get sick from a bearded dragon bite?

Its bite has bacteria that aren't dangerous to humans. Usually, you can just wash the wound with antibacterial soap. Despite this, it is known that the bearded dragon bite has the salmonella bacteria, so you run the risk of having intestinal problems. In order to solve this situation, it may be prudent to get a tetanus shot if you have not received one in the last 5 years.

Does their bite hurt?

Reasonably, the bite of a bearded adult dragon hurts more than that of a young one. However, its bite hurts less than the bite of a dog or cat, it can be compared to a scratch.

If you want to buy a bearded dragon as a pet, don't forget to take into account the things and facts you know about this interesting lizard.

References:

  1. PetSmart, Bearded Dragon Care Guide
  2. petMD, Inland Bearded Dragon - Pogona vitticeps
  3. PubMed, Ultrasonographic anatomy of bearded dragons

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