A Bearded Dragon is a medium sized lizard from the Agamid family which originates from Australia and belongs to the Pogona genus. They have a triangular shaped head, a flattened body, and slender tail and are covered in coarse scales and arrangements of spiky scales on the head and neck area which gives them a prehistoric appearance.
Bearded Dragons are so named because they have the habit to inflate their neck areas that expose a darker colouration between the spiky scales and this gives the impression that they have a beard.
These Fantastic lizards have become a very popular exotic pet amongst reptile lovers the world over and their quirky looks and attitude definitely make them a very special companion to anyone who loves unusual animals.
Bearded Dragons Quick Overview
Bearded dragons range in size from 10 inches to 24 inches depending on the species. They are cold blooded diurnal reptiles, meaning that they are active during daylight hours and usually spend the first hours of the morning and late afternoons basking in the sun, elevated on limbs or trunks of trees, boulders and shrubs.
When it gets very hot during midday the Bearded Dragon may burrow into the sand or take shelter between boulders or tree roots in order to conserve moisture and stay cool.
Bearded Dragons also go into hibernation stages through the seasons of the year, in winter they go into brumation which is stimulated by sudden drops in temperature or periods of less light, and in summer they aestivate during periods of harsh heat and exceeding climatic conditions such as a drought. In both cases the Bearded Dragon will seek adequate shelter and become dormant and inactive. Another fascinating fact is that Bearded Dragons are able to change their body colouration during displays of dominance or aggression as well as becoming dark to absorb heat from the sunlight if they are getting cold.
The Bearded Dragon is an omnivorous creature and as juveniles they are predominantly meat eaters but as they grow the diet shifts and adults have a mainly vegetarian based diet.
They occur in wide variety of habitats including arid desert, lowland scrub, savannah, subtropical forest and coastal regions.
Pogona Species Info
They are classified as Reptilia belonging in the order Squamata and there are eight species in the genus namely Pogona barbata, Pogona henrylawsoni, Pogona microlepidota, Pogona minima, Pogona nullarbor, Pogona vitticeps and a ninth species P.vittikens, a naturally occurring crossbreed between P.vitticeps and P.henrylawsoni.
The species distribution is across the southern half of Australia in specific areas of habitat for each species. The species most commonly seen in the pet trade are P.vitticeps commonly known as the Central Bearded Dragon and P.henrylawsoni also known as Rankins Bearded Dragon.