Friendly reptiles: the bearded dragon
21 October 2018
Affectionately known as “beardies”, the Bearded Dragon is a popular choice for both beginners and seasoned reptile owners. Their gentle nature and easy-going personality earn them a spot in Petcover’s list of friendly reptiles and there are many compelling reasons to keep this Australian native as a pet.
Their scaly, thorn-like beards may look intimidating but don’t be fooled: beardies are docile creatures that rarely exhibit aggressive behaviours. They are easy to tame, safe to handle and will quickly learn to feel comfortable in your presence.
Still not convinced? Here are some cool and interesting facts about the bearded dragon that may pique your interest:
If you’re lucky you may witness your dragon stand up on 3 legs and wave with its remaining leg in the air. However they usually only wave at a fellow beardies to signal species recognition so unless you’re looking particularly scaly with a five o’ clock shadow, you probably won’t get a friendly wave from your reptile friend.
They change colour
Beardies regulate their body temperature by changing colour so you can have fun watching their skin switch from a light yellow to a dark brown. There is also new research out to suggest that these guys can also specify which body parts change colour for different functions. For example, the beard/chest colour changes during social interaction and the back for temperature regulation. They are more sophisticated then you would think!
They can be leash trained
If you want to take your lizard out for a walk, the good news is beardies are amongst the easiest of the lizard species to leash train due to their docile temperaments. Of course, you still want to proceed with caution when attempting to put a leash on your scaly pal and look out for sign of stress (like the chin area, their ‘beard’ changing to a darker colour).
They produce venom
Another surprising fact about beardies that was uncovered by researchers at Melbourne University is that these cute gentle reptiles are in fact venomous. But don’t be alarmed: the type of venom they produce is harmless to humans (phew!). The trait is believed to have evolved as a defence mechanism during the lizard’s hunting days.
Their body parts don’t grow back
Be careful not to chop your beardie’s tail off with a kitchen knife as this is one lizard who can’t re-grow its tails, legs or any other body parts (unlike many other lizard species).
Befriending a dragon doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. A beardie is the perfect case in point- you can have a ton of fun interacting with this reptile’s colourful character and unique behaviours.
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