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Bearded Dragon Lizard

Ever thought of rearing a bearded dragon lizard as a pet? Know all about bearded dragon including its habitat, sexual dimorphism, food, behavior and lifespan, which will help you decide whether you really like it as a pet or not.
Bearded dragon lizard belongs to the genus Pogona along with seven other species. When being threatened by an enemy, it puffs out its skin in the throat part, thus resembling the beard of humans. Hence the name, bearded dragon lizard. The spiny beard is actually a defense system that makes the lizard look bigger to its potential predators. One interesting bearded dragon lizard fact is that it runs faster with its hind legs, rather than running on all four legs.

All About Bearded Dragon Lizards

Bearded dragons lizards are light-colored, either yellowish or tanned, which help them camouflage in the woods and rocky habitats. The size of an adult lizard is about 18-24 inch. Native to Australia, they are found in deserts, woodlands and grasslands. Being cold-blooded, the body temperature of this lizard fluctuates in accordance to the prevailing environmental conditions. Discussed below are some facts about bearded dragon lizards.

Habitat
The habitat of bearded dragons include rocky, arid and semi-arid areas. The young ones spend most of their growing years in large trees, thus become adept climbers by the time they mature. You can also find bearded dragon lizards reclining on large rocks and basking in the sun. This helps regulate their body temperature.

Sexual Dimorphism
In the juvenile stages, it is very difficult to differentiate a male bearded dragon from the female lizard. However, sexual dimorphism of these lizards is very distinct when they attain maturity. The male bearded dragon has a larger head, along with a much darker and bigger beard. Also, between the back legs, the male possesses a set of pre-anal pores, which are absent in a female bearded dragon.

Food & Diet
Bearded dragons are omnivores and feed on a wide range of vegetables and insects. In captivity, they feed on carrots, squash, leafy greens, insects and small mice. Insects like crickets and mealworms are ideal foods for these lizards. There are also special foods, formulated with fruits and vegetables for feeding bearded dragon lizards. However, studies done in the natural habitat has found that they are primarily herbivores, with vegetable matter contributing more than 90 percent of their diet.

Behavior
Bearded dragon lizards are very social and communicate through signs and gestures. They convey messages just by nodding their heads, opening their mouths or flattering their bodies. As pets, bearded dragons are comparatively calm and friendlier than the other different types of lizards. They are curious and prefer to roam and explore their environment.

Lifespan
The average lifespan of a breaded dragon is 7-10 years. Nevertheless, the life expectancy of this lizard may vary based on several factors. As compared to the wild population, captive bearded dragon lizards are healthier and disease free. Thus, the survival rate and lifespan of pet bearded dragons are much more than those inhabiting the natural habitat.

With the increasing interest of bearded dragon lizards as pets, they are now bred in captivity and sold in pet stores. Of the several species, the inland bearded dragon is most popular as pets. Special vivarium and care tips are required to maintain them. If you love to keep a reptile in your home, then consider rearing a bearded dragon lizard. I am sure you will be charmed by the activeness and docile nature of these lizards!
By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Published: 1/29/2010
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