Dragons? What, like, firebreathing?
Heh, could you imagine? No, thankfully, the beardies don’t breathe fire. There’s a diverse range of reptile species given the name “dragon”, for example, the Komodo Dragon.
Do they bite?
No, none of my dragons will bite you. They might lick you though. All dragons go through a rebellious phase around 6-9 months old, but snap out of it quickly – they’re bright animals. Untrained or badly handled or abused dragons can be extremely violent, so be very careful if you don’t know the lizard: a dragon can bite through to the bone of your finger. They can be trained out of it though – contact me if you have problems.
Okay, talking of biting, what do they eat?
All kinds of things! The adults get bugs 1-3 times a week, usually locusts and butterworms. They can’t eat garlic, onion, rhubarb or eggplant, but otherwise most things – fruit in moderation, and lots of dark greens. Spring greens are a staple and a favourite here.
What do they feel like?
Dry and rough, like really heavy grain sandpaper. Their bellies are really soft though, and their licks are dry and sticky.
Why “bearded” dragon?
Well, pogona vitticeps have one of the most remarkable colour changing abilities in the natural world, more bold than even that of a chameleon, though not quite so varied – generally just black or not.
<-Relaxed dragon. Dominant dragon. ->
They’re both the same dragon – in this case, Jam.
The colour change is certainly impressive – and it definitely impresses potential rivals (and mates), though females are less inclined to demonstrate their black beard.
I’d really like to learn more about bearded dragons – where can you recommend I start?
Easy – www.beardeddragon.org. I can’t recommend this community enough – they’ve been quite literal lifesavers for some of my gang, and they’re an invaluable source of information on almost anything you could ask for.