STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Bearded dragons are tough, docile lizards that average a foot in length. Their colors range from a dark orange to a grayish tan. Bearded dragons are named for their large black “beard,” which appears when the dragon feels threatened. Their bodies are covered with rough and spiky scales used for protection and small, clawed feet used for quickly climbing through dense foliage.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
The bearded dragon uses body language to communicate with other lizards. They wave their arms and bob their heads to assert dominance over other dragons. However, bearded dragons are mostly solitary until it is time to breed when they are one to two years old. Their courtship ritual is a dance that signals to the female that the male is ready to mate. The female bearded dragon lays her eggs three to five weeks later in moist soil. After about twelve weeks, the bearded dragons will hatch completely able to care for themselves.
Nine different species of bearded dragon live all over the southern part of the Australian continent. The common, or Inland bearded dragon, lives in Central Australia.
Bearded dragons live in a hot climate with little humidity. They hide in holes and foliage and can sometimes be arboreal. During the hottest parts of the day, bearded dragons will burrow underground to avoid the intense Australian sun.
Bearded dragon hatchlings only eat small insects. As they reach adulthood, these dragons eat larger insects, some small mammals, and large amounts of vegetation.