How Do Bearded Dragons Defend Themselves? (4 Defense Mechanism Explained)


Bearded dragons are known for their docile nature in captivity. Under certain circumstances a beardie may appear aggressive which bare the question how do bearded dragons defend themselves?


As their name may suggest, bearded dragons use their beard as defense mechanism in most cases. In fact, they have a variety of means to defend themselves.


Read below to learn more.


Protection against predators

In the wild bearded dragons need to protect themselves from predators such as snakes, birds, and other animals that want to feed on them.

Beardies will first try to hide themselves by blending in with their natural habitat as a way to avoid being preyed on.

Indeed, bearded dragons have various colors and can remain still for very long period of time as to evade predators.

Despite this first defense mechanism, some predators like birds and goannas will still eat them.


The Beard as protective mechanism

When in high alert, bearded dragons are capable of “inflating” themselves up. Indeed, they have a pouch under their jaw that can extend considerably. This makes them look bigger than normal.


Because beardies are territorial, they also use their beards to intimidate their potential intruders.


Biting as line of defense

When startled, bearded dragons can open their mouth to display their beard. This behavior is called gaping.

If an intruder or predator gets closer in such cases, the beardie will bite them.

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The same happen if you try to hold your beardie suddenly from above. They see your hand as a threat and bite you.


Although these bites may hurt they are not health threatening for humans.


Flattening tactics


As they inflate their beards, beardies will also flatten their bodies. By doing so, they appear larger than normal. This may deter predators because of the prickly look of the spikes on their beards.


In Summary


While certainly not aggressive, bearded dragons have various means of defending themselves when they sense a threat.

The most common defense mechanism is inflating their beards to appear bigger than normal. They may also bite if they feel in danger.