Bearded dragons make great pets and well cared for, they last for a decade or so. Once you have decided to take a bearded dragon home as a pet, the environment you provide for him needs to closely reflect the habitat he is accustomed to.
Beardies originate and currently live in the deserts and woodland of Central Australia. They spend much of their time in trees and bushes as well as on rocks, basking in the hot sun. When the weather is very hot and reach near 100 degrees Fahrenheit, dragons bury themselves underground to cool down. Being cold blooded, they frequently need to find a balance in temperatures to keep their temperature constant.
The origin of these dragons have exposed them to blinding heat full of UVA and UVB sunlight as well as cooler places to rest such as beneath rocks, under leaves or underground.
For this reason, you need to mimic their natural environment by giving them a source for hot, bright light and cooler sections in their enclosure. Having been accustomed to very little water in the dessert they have originated from, too much water in their enclosure will not be very good for your beardie. Misting or droplets falling form leaves are best for helping your dragon stay hydrated.
These dragons are both omnivores and diurnal. They forage for food like small lizards, insects, mammals, flowers, fruit and other plants in the daytime. Wild beardies are accustomed to catching wild, live insects that have not been exposed to insecticides and small mice themselves.
Nowadays, bearded lizards are bred in captivity worldwide. This is because exporting them from Australia are illegal and for some species, very limited. Bearded pets that are bred in captivity are just as healthy as wild bearded dragons. If you are not a native of Australia, you will be able to find a beardie at your nearest pet shop or online.
Beardies are also called the yellow-headed bearded dragon or he central bearded dragon. Belonging to the genus pogona, this pet is scientifically named the pogona vitticeps or amphibolurus vitticeps.
Yellow or tan in color, bearded dragons are called “bearded” because they have a “flaring out” ability in their skin throat area when threatened. The word “dragon” comes from the Australian word for “lizard.” A flat body, this “beard” becomes quite pronounced when the dragon is feeling alarmed. There are spines on the side of the wedge-shaped head, the side of the body and a tail that is almost as long as its body.
It is not easy to distinguish the females from the males when the beardies are hatchlings. In adults, however, sexual differences are apparent. Males can be distinguished form the females because of their femoral pores, larger heads and darker beards.
A well-cared for bearded dragon in captivity can live about eight to twelve years. There have been reports of “beardies” living up to fifteen years old, however.