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Bearded Dragons

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The name Bearded Dragon does not only refer to one lizard as you may expect. The name is used for one of eight different species in the genus Pogona. The most popular of the genus is the Inland Bearded Dragon (the Bearded Dragon Caresheet is for this species), which is exported around the world for the pet trade. They are becoming so popular in fact, that the Inland Bearded Dragon may soon rival the Green Iguana in popularity.

What do Bearded Dragons look like?

Most of the species of Bearded Dragons grow to roughly the same size. They all have triangular heads, which are very broad as well. Their bodies look to be slightly flattened, with their sides extruding with small spines. When fully grown, the average Bearded Dragon will reach about 20 inches in total length, head to tail. The males are usually a bit longer then the females, but conversely, the females tend to be slightly heavier.

The reference in their name to a beard comes from the spines around their head and the base of their tail. Unlike many lizards, the spines come out at a horizontal angle, and not straight up in the air. When they are angry or frightened, Bearded Dragons can puff out their spines, making it look even more like a beard.

Take a look at these Bearded Dragon Pictures to get a clearer idea about their appearance.

Bearded Dragon on a bed of leaves thumbnail photo   Bearded dragon out for a walk thumbnail photo   Orange Bearded Dragon thumbnail photo   A pair of Bearded Dragons  thumbnail photo
             
Thumbnail closeup of Bearded Dragon            

How long do Bearded Dragons live?

Bearded Dragons have a natural life expectancy from between 5 and 10 years. Of course, natural predation and other environmental factors severely limit their life span in some cases. In an ideal, proper, and clean captive environment, Bearded Dragons can reach the 10 year mark.

What do Bearded Dragons eat?

All the species of Bearded Dragons are omnivores. This means their diet consists of both meat and vegetation. For the meat side, Bearded Dragons' main course are insects and small invertebrates. Larger Bearded Dragons will even eat small mice (and other small vertebrates). As for plants, they tend to stick with softer plant matter such as flowers, leafy greens, fruits and vegetables. Bearded Dragons start to regularly eat more plants as they get older.

Bearded Dragons Habitat

All eight species of Bearded Dragons are native to Australia (view Bearded Dragon Distribution Map). The natural Bearded Dragon habitat where they are commonly found is desert and scrub, but they can also found in open woodland areas. As hatchlings and juveniles, Bearded Dragons tend to be semi-arboreal, spending some of their time climbing and resting in trees. As they mature and get older, they tend to stay on the ground, climbing branches only to bask in the sunlight.

Types of Bearded Dragons

As mentioned, there are 8 different types of Bearded Dragons, all of which are classified as separate species, not subspecies.

Pogona barbata - Eastern or Common bearded dragon
Pogona henrylawsoni - Black soil bearded dragon
Pogona microlepidota - Kimberly bearded dragon
Pogona minima - Western bearded dragon
Pogona minor - Dwarf bearded dragon
Pogona mitchelli - Northwest bearded dragon
Pogona nullarbor - Nullabor bearded dragon
Pogona vitticeps - Central or Inland bearded dragon

Bearded Dragon Classification

- Kingdom: Animalia
 - Division: Chordata
  - Class: Reptilia
   - Order: Squamata
    - Family: Agamidae
     - Genus: Pogona
      - Species: Pogona spp.
 
 
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