Bearded dragon

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Bearded dragon
A bearded dragon in the Frankfurt Zoo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Squamata
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Pogona
Binomial name
Pogona vitticeps
Ahl, 1926
Detail of the "beard"

Bearded dragons are the genus Pogona, which are agamid lizards.

The central bearded dragon is the common name for Pogona vitticeps, which lives in dry areas of Australia. The name "bearded dragon" refers to the fringes around and under the head. The underside of the throat turns black if they are stressed or see a potential rival.

Description[change | change source]

Central bearded dragons can grow to about 2 feet long. Half of the length of a bearded dragon's body is its tail. Females are usually smaller than males. If a bearded dragon is scared, it will flatten its body against the ground, puff out its spiky throat, and open its jaws to make itself look larger. Bearded dragons sometimes open their mouths wide to allow hot air to warm them better when they are lying in the sun. They also open their mouths to help them cool down; the warm air and heat escapes through their mouths. It is similar to panting.

Habitat and behavior[change | change source]

In the wild, the central bearded dragon lives in dry, hot forests and deserts in central Australia. They can climb very well, and spend a lot of time on top of tree branches, fenceposts, and bushes. They are cold blooded, and need the sun to keep their bodies warm, so they spend the mornings and evenings out in the sun. During the hottest part of the day and during the night they hide underground.

Bearded dragons do not make sounds usually, but when they are scared they might hiss like a cat. They move their bodies and change color to talk to each other. Sometimes, young bearded dragons will wave their arms to greet adults. A dominant bearded dragon will take the highest spot to rest, and will climb over others to get there. Bearded dragons also bob their heads up and down to communicate.

When a female bearded dragon is ready to lay eggs she will not eat very much and will spend most of her time trying to dig.

Diet[change | change source]

Central bearded dragons eat small and large insects, such as grasshoppers and worms. They also eat leaves, fruit, vegetables and flowers. They get most of their water from the food they eat, but they also need to drink sometimes.

Other websites[change | change source]