Bearded dragons are beautiful reptiles that come from Australia. They are found across Australia, mainly in arid and semi-arid areas.
Bearded dragons are reptiles, and their diet is omnivore since they can feed in plants, insects, and many more.
When you take good care of bearded dragons, they can live for up to 10 years in your home as a pet. An average adult bearded dragon can measure between 18 to 22 inches. They also weigh between 18 to 10 ounces. In Australia, bearded dragons are divided into: –
- Eastern Bearded Dragon, with its wide distribution found in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria.
- Western Bearded Dragon, which is mainly known to be dwarf, and their wide distribution can be found naturally in most parts of Western Australia and the Southwest of the Northern Territory.
These beautiful reptiles feature armor of spiny reptilian scales with spikes under their chin like the name dragon. Currently, there are up to 8 different species of beardies in their natural habitat.
In their natural habitat, you may find bearded dragons living in woodlands, coastal dunes, heathland, tropical savannahs, and deserts.
On most occasions, you may find them basking on fence posts, tree stumps, rocks, and branches where they can easily spot predators, prey, and mates. Besides, these adorable pets are cold-blooded, and they raise their body temperatures by mainly relying on external heat sources.
The Australian government banned the export of wild bearded dragons in the 1960s. However, these adorable reptiles have been bred in the United States for pet trade for some time, and therefore you can easily find one in pet stores in most places in the country.
These adorable reptiles are always active in the early morning and late afternoons during summer seasons.
When you want to keep bearded dragons as pets in your home, it is advisable that you try to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. Imitating their natural habitat will help in making them feel comfortable and settle easily in the new surroundings.
Feeding and Diet
Bearded dragons are omnivorous, and in their natural habitat, they feed on vegetation such as leaves, fruits, insects, and other invertebrates that they can catch, such as lizards. When you keep this adorable reptile in your home as a pet, you need to feed it a balanced diet to help in keeping it healthy, active, and living longer.
Your bearded friend should be served 80% insects and 20% vegetables and fruits when they are young. Young beardies need large insect consumption for their growth and development.
You need to serve your bearded dragon 20% insects and 80% vegetables and fruits when they are grown. The large vegetables and fruit percentage in their diet will help maintain their well-being. Bearded dragons are always active during the day; therefore, it is advisable that you feed them during the day.
The Best Foods for a Bearded Dragon
- Collard Greens• Dandelion Greens• Endive• Escarole
• Mustard Greens
• Turnip Greens
- Acorn Squash• Butternut Squash• Green Beans• Okra
• Snap Peas
• Sweet Potato
• Yellow Squash
- Bok Choy• Carrot Tops• Celery Leaves• Cilantro
• Cucumber (peeled)
• Kohlrabi Leaves
• Swiss Chard
- Asparagus• Beets• Bell Peppers• Broccoli
• Celery Stalks
• Green Peas
Greens and Vegetables to Rarely Feed
- Beet Greens• Spinach• Tomatoes
Greens and Vegetables to NEVER Feed
- Avocados• Rhubarb• Lettuce
Bearded dragons are territorial, and, on most occasions, you may find them displaying aggression towards other males, especially when defending their turf.
Bearded dragons may also show aggressive behavior when fighting for food or competing for females. Therefore, it can be tricky to keep bearded dragons of the same sex in one enclosure.
In some situations, male beardie may attack females if they do not show submissive behavior.
Bearded dragons have a beard, and it is a way that they use when they want to communicate, just like other lizards.
A bearded dragon opens its mouth, raising its chin, or puffing out its beard to appear more significant, especially when they are threatened.
Hissing may also accompany this display. Moreover, you may also see bearded dragons changing the colors of their beards and bobbing their heads as a way of communication. A quick head bob may be a sign of dominance when they are fighting, while a slow bob plus an arm wave is a signal of submission.
Bearded dragons are always active during the day. However, you may see them in the dark in their natural habitat, especially during summer.
Courtship and breeding
During this period, you will see the male bearded dragon embarking on a showy ritual by pounding its feet in the ground, waving its arms, and even bobbing its head. The males will then pursue the females.
How Does Reproduction Take Place with Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons take between 1 to 2 years to reach sexual maturity. They primarily mate during the summer and winter seasons in their natural habitat. However, captive beardies are not seasonal, and therefore they can breed during any time of the year.
In our next article we answer the question can bearded dragons get covid-19?
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