Surprising Bearded Dragon Facts and Info
There are a lot of interesting and surprising facts about bearded dragons that even most bearded dragon owners won’t be aware of.
Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pets in the US. They’re a great pet for children, as they’re easy to look after and make a minimal mess.
They’re also quite affectionate and will happily sit with you to watch TV. They can live for up to 14 years, so there are a lot of quirks to learn about at that time. Here are just a few of them:
1. They Can Grow Their Teeth Back
Because of the way bearded dragons eat, their front teeth can often fall out. Bearded dragons hunt their prey and, when they’re close enough, they’ll strike, much like a snake does.
However, their aim sometimes isn’t the best, so it can damage their front teeth if they’re off target.
Unfortunately, this is the only part of the bearded dragon that does grow back. You’ll see other lizards shedding their tails or limbs and growing them back, but bearded dragons are incapable of doing this.
Note: For tips on how to look after your bearded dragon’s teeth check out this guide.
2. They’re Really Good Swimmers
In the wild, bearded dragons live in sandy desert areas, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a bath.
Bearded dragons in captivity actually really seem to like the water and you might find them trying to cool off in their water dish from time to time.
However, if you ever put them near a bigger pool of water, they’ll contentedly paddle around with ease.
You must make sure to never put a bearded dragon in a chlorine-treated pool though!
To swim, they take a deep breath to inflate themselves, so you might see them visibly become a little wider.
This helps them to float more easily. Their swimming motion looks like that of a miniature crocodile.
Note: You can find out how to give a bearded dragon a bath here.
3. They Smell Through Their Mouths
You’ll notice that your bearded dragon sometimes sits with its mouth open. This is to regulate their temperature, like a dog when it pants, but also, to smell the air.
They also tend to test food with their tongues before actually eating it. This is because their taste buds and their sense of smell are both in their mouth.
This means that their mouth has a duct that connects directly to their nasal cavity.
It allows them to sense the world around them much more easily and means that they can smell things that are really far away.
4. They Can Sleep Standing Up
So, you’ve heard of horses and cows sleeping standing up, but did you know that your bearded dragon can too? Most domesticated bearded dragons won’t feel the need to stand up as they’re relaxed in their environment.
Generally, you’ll see them sleeping in a hammock if they have one or laid down in a comfy corner.
As soon as they hear a noise, they don’t need to struggle out of bed. The second their eyes open, they’re off!
5. They Bob Their Heads to Communicate
If you’ve ever seen two bearded dragons together, you’ll have noticed that they start to bob their heads up and down repeatedly. The motion sort of looks like a pigeon when it’s walking and bobbing its head.
This is their way of talking to one another.
During mating season, a male’s chin will become darker and females’ with become more orange.
The male may bob his head to show the female that he wants to mate, exposing his chin to show how manly he is. Similarly, a female may do this to signal that she’s ready to mate too.
Head bobbing can also be used as a sign of dominance between two males. The fastest head bobber gets the girl.
6. They Don’t Urinate
Next in our list of facts, you might have noticed that a bearded dragon tank doesn’t become messy too quickly. This is because they don’t actually urinate.
Because their natural habitat is a desert climate, their bodies store water incredibly efficiently.
They generally won’t wee on you when you take them out for a cuddle as a rodent would.
It also means that their vivarium won’t need cleaning as often as other animals, as they don’t make too much mess.
7. They Can Change Color
Bearded dragons can change their skin tone over time. As a bearded dragon sheds, the skin becomes looser and appears paler just before it flakes away.
However, the new layer of skin that appears underneath may be a slightly different tone to the one they just lost.
They also have the ability to change their scale tone dependant on temperature. We all know that wearing black attracts the heat and makes us hotter.
Whilst wearing white clothes is much cooler. It’s the same for a bearded dragon. They may change their scales to a darker tone in cooler weather in the hope of catching and retaining more heat.
In warmer months though, they might appear lighter as their scales reflect the sun and keep them from dehydrating.
8. They Can Run Really Fast
Last up in our list of facts, you’ll see your bearded dragon lazing around their home most of the time. They spend the majority of their lives basking in the sun.
However, they can run as fast as 14 kilometres per hour if necessary. In the wild, they do have natural predators such as birds of prey, larger lizards or snakes that inhabit their desert.
Unlike any other lizard (or occasionally some dogs) they’ll happily trot along beside you to get some exercise. For this, you may want to invest in a leash though.
Bearded dragons are a really unique type of pet. They’re very friendly, low maintenance and have amazing characters. There are also lots more facts to learn about them.
Over time you’ll develop a great bond and grow to love all the strange things that they do.
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