Probably you might have noticed your bearded dragon licking you and then become curious or fascinated about such behavior. When your bearded dragon licks you, it checks you out to familiarize and get an immediate feel of the environment.
However, if it does so frequently, then there is something interesting about your smell, he tries to express its affection towards you or it feels comfortable with you.
We will help you understand in detail about your beardie’s licking behavior and the connection between licking and their environment.
The Connection between Your Bearded Dragon Licking Behaviour and Their Environment
When you spot your beardie licking you or its environment you should not worry because it is trying to sense and explore its environment. When a beardie flicks out its tongue to the air or licks it collects microscopic particles onto the tongue for sensory interpretation.
After collecting the microscopic particles, your beardies takes back its tongue inside the mouth and touches the upper part of its mouth organ called the Vomerosonasal/Jacobson’s organ.
Jacobson’s organ is a nerve-sending sensory that helps your beardie to decode info from its tongue to its brain for detailed judgment.
Hence why it can understand its environment and help them explore. Due to this your beardie may lick its environment or you depending on several reasons.
Reasons Your Bearded Dragon is Licking You and its Surrounding
Your beardie licking behavior is natural for interpretation and helps them get a better grasp of their environment due to several reasons. They include:
To Understand their Owner
Like humans bearded dragons are curious and out of curiosity, they will lick you to explore its environment and find out who it is sharing it with.
This will help her to familiarize herself with you through smelling you and gathering information about its owner. Hence, giving it the ability to understand you better and differentiate you from others.
Expression of Comfort and Affection
If she does it repeatedly, then know that your beardie is comfortable around you and it recognizes your scent.
Besides, it may also lick you frequently if they smell something on you and would like to acquire the smell/scent.
If the licking behavior is not due to scent, it could also be a way of expressing their affection and love towards you.
To Mark Territory
If you see your beardie licking its surrounding, it means it is marking its territory especially if you keep more than two males together in a tank.
Marking territory helps them establish dominance over other beards and have access to the females. Also, female beardies lick the surroundings to compete with other females for food.
There, it is advisable not to keep more than one beardie of the same sex in a tank to avoid competition for food and dominance over each other.
A sign of Pre-mating Season
After brumation, one month later bearded dragons usually show an increased amount of licking behavior on everything including you.
With the help of the tongue and Jacobson’s organ, it helps them to seek out potential mates that are ready to mate and use licking as a social signal to manifest their interest in their mates.
Hence, males will lick females to mark them as theirs. While females will lick others to check out whether they have been mating in their territory.
To feel Temperature and Textures
Bearded dragons are exothermic; hence they usually check out the external temperature by licking the air and objects in their surroundings. This helps them to understand and regulate their body temperature with the particular object in the area of their habitat.
Therefore, licking it provides them with the ability to gauge temperature and then estimate that of its environment.
After, gauging it will find the perfect spot that will help them achieve the optimal temperature. Since they have limited tactile receptors in their feet, they will also lick to understand the texture feeling of an object which helps it to identify them.
To Help it Understand its New environment and Sense Danger
Like humans, bearded dragons are also curious when introduced to a new environment. With the help of their tongue and Jacobson’s organ, it provides them with the ability to have a better grasp of its new stimuli in the environment.
Besides, the receptors in the tongue can help them sense and use the vomeronasal organ to identify dangers in its vicinity and gather information about predators.
Show Signs of Hunger
If you feed your beardie on a consistent feeding schedule, it may also lick you to smell if you could be food before the routine feeding scheduled time arrives. That’s because beaded dragon hunts for their food through smell when they are hungry.
Licking is a natural behavior for bearded dragons; especially juveniles because they are trying to familiarize themselves and get a better grasp of their environment.
This behavior is less frequent in older beardies because they understand their environment.
You should take licking as a positive response to their surroundings. It’s also a sign of accurate judgment, and good health in your bearded dragon.
Read more about your beardie’s behavior in the next article. What do I do if my bearded bites me?
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