Bearded dragons may be relatively new to the shores of America, but they sure are cool. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about bearded dragons, and why you might strongly consider bringing one into your life and home.
Bearded dragons are also known by their scientific genus name, Pogona, or specifically for the Inland Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps, and by their colloquial name, "beardies."
Beardies wave their arms at each other to show species recognition or to demonstrate submission. (You can watch some cute-as-pie baby beardies waving here.
Bearded dragons can run up to nine miles per hour. But for the most part, they are quite sedentary lizards.
Bearded dragons are one of the most easy-going and relaxed in the reptile world. They are amongst the easiest to leash train, and will even casually allow their owners to dress them in clothing.
Bearded dragons get their name from the spiny projections under their necks that resemble a man’s beard. When they feel threatened or excited, they puff out their beards and open their mouths to make themselves look bigger.
Bearded dragons show their romantic interest by bobbing their heads up and down at prospective mates — the male bobs his head rapidly and the female responds with a slower head bobbing. They will also wave at each other to show interest.
Beardies eat a variety of things: greens, leaves, fruit, flowers, and small pieces of meat, including insects, small rodents, and small lizards.
Beardies will often take naps for a few weeks in the fall (though it can happen at any time of the year) and then wake up and get back to life as usual.
Captive bearded dragons can live up to ten years, as long as they are kept physically and mentally healthy.
Bearded dragons hail from the deserts of Australia.They weren’t introduced into the United States until the 1990s, but have since become popular as pets.