We love everything about bearded dragons.
We love them so much, and we wanted to learn even more about them.
How many eggs do they lay?
Where do they come from?
Why can’t you own one in Hawaii?
We want to share our love of this oddly cute pet with you in these 21 bearded dragon fun facts.
21 Bearded Dragon Fun Facts
As we dive into these fun facts, use this also as a mini-guide to see if this is a pet you’d like to adopt.
Numerous people have and never regret it!
Genus and Species
All nine bearded dragon species belong to the genus Pogona and are endemic to Australia.
Six out of those nine species are recommended as pets since they have the right temperament.
The most commonly kept as pets are central bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps).
The second is the eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata).
Scale patterns and colors vary by selective breeding in captive populations.
You may see fancy bearded dragons, with brightly colored red and white scales, seasonally.
Seeing one in person is a real treat.
Another popular variant is the leatherback, with smaller scales along its back.
Bearded Dragons Are Super Popular
Because of their easygoing temperament and normal lack of aggression, Eastern bearded dragons are one of the most popular reptile pets in the world.
In several European countries, beardies are the third most common species of pet, after dogs and cats.
How Bearded Dragons Became Pets
Bearded dragons were introduced as pets to the U.S. very recently.
They became popular among commercial pet breeders and sources in the 1990s.
Experts think the animals were most likely smuggled out of Australia since they had banned the export of native wildlife in the 1960s.
Thankfully, the rise in popularity of beardies did not put the lizard on the endangered species list.
The captive breeding population in the U.S. is large enough to support the current pet trade, meaning no more beardies need to be smuggled out of Australia.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards.
In the wild, they will eat insects and the occasional rodent, munching on flowers, leaves, and fruits to supplement.
In captivity, they should eat a mix of live insects, vegetables, and fruit.
They also need supplements of calcium, usually powdered, and D3, usually through UV light.
Do not feed them avocadoes or bugs which can light up, like fireflies or glowworms.
Both of these food sources are extremely toxic.
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get?
On average, a bearded dragon grows to be 18-22″ inches (61 cm) long.
Half of their body length will usually be their tail.
Their average weight should be 10-18 ounces.
The size of their enclosure will determine how large they grow.
Though this means a smaller enclosure will result in a smaller bearded dragon, the truth is being cramped is not healthy for any pet, especially not your beardy.
A bearded dragon should have a minimum 40-gallon enclosure, ideally with a few hides, a basking spot, and something to climb.
Yes, Beardies Climb!
Though they live in desert environments, bearded dragons are semi-arboreal.
This means they will sometimes climb and perch on trees, or, on human-developed land, on fence posts.
We recommend setting up a climbing branch or log in your beardy’s enclosure for them to climb.
Beardies Also Swim!
It might seem odd for a desert animal to be able to swim.
However, if necessary, beardies will swim to escape predators.
We do not recommend letting your bearded dragon swim in your personal swimming pool.
We do recommend a bath in lukewarm water once a week.
Be careful not to let the water level rise above your beardy’s knees.
A bath will help with your pet’s hydration, healthy skin shedding, and digestion, especially if your beardy is constipated.
Bearded dragons are solitary animals in the wild.
Male adults especially are extremely territorial. In captivity, multiple bearded dragons will quickly show signs of dominance over the others in their enclosure.
These will include bobbing their heads and piling on top of each other.
Bearded dragons cannot cohabitate in captivity.
At worst, two beardies in the same enclosure will fight to the death.
It will save a lot of stress and heartache for you and your pets if you put them in separate enclosures.
How Bearded Dragons Got Their Name
Bearded dragons do technically have beards and were named for them.
When in danger or upset, a bearded dragon will inflate the pouch below its jaw, sometimes changing its color to make it appear darker.
This action makes its head larger and more intimidating to predators.
Bearded dragons also have spine-like scales behind their heads.
These make them look a bit like the western idea of a dragon.
Their spines are usually soft but will become harder and more painful to the touch if they feel aggressive or need to defend themselves.
Don’t Waste Water!
Though bearded dragons do need sources of fresh water, certain functions of their bodies mean they do not waste it or excrete it.
A beardy will not excrete liquid urine, even if they are well-hydrated.
Instead, like many reptiles, they excrete uric acid in powdery solids called urates.
These are usually white and are excreted at the same time as fecal matter.
Like many reptiles, bearded dragons experience most of their world through their sense of smell.
Just like snakes, beardies have a vomeronasal, or Jacobson’s, organ at the roof of their mouth.
They pick up scent information with their tongues and put them against this organ so their brain will receive the scent info and interpret it.
Bearded dragons also see in color and have excellent distance vision.
How Fast Do They Run?
Bearded dragons usually run on four legs.
In the wild, this is their primary way to escape their predators.
A bearded dragon can run at nine miles per hour, about the speed of a bicycle.
Sometimes, bearded dragons will run only on their hind legs, though this is usually a slower way for them to travel.
Bearded Dragons Have Many Predators
Even though bearded dragons are fearsome predators to the insects of the Australian desert, they are also prey animals.
Larger lizards like goannas eat bearded dragons regularly.
Beardies are also popular prey for dingoes and many Australian birds of prey.
Luckily, bearded dragons have many defense mechanisms, including their speed and their desert camouflage.
No Beardies In Hawaii
Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. where it is illegal to own a bearded dragon as a pet.
In general, Hawaii has strict laws on pets, since they focus on preserving their local flora and fauna.
Even cats and dogs are required to enter a 120-day quarantine before moving in with their owners.
If you get a bearded dragon, we recommend not moving to Hawaii if you want to keep it.
The Tails Stay On
You may have heard facts about other lizards like leopard geckos, detaching and regrowing their tails, or even limbs.
The bearded dragon is not one of these lizards.
A tail loss will be excruciating and stressful for a bearded dragon, as their tails do not have weak points.
If a bearded dragon loses its tail on accident, it will never grow back.
However, bearded dragons do regrow one part of their bodies if they lose them.
Beardies can regrow their teeth.
Breeding Season And Eggs
In captivity, bearded dragons mate year-round.
In the wild, they will wait for seasonal changes, usually after their cold season brumation or hibernation.
A female bearded dragon may lay up to 20 eggs in a single clutch.
These eggs will incubate and hatch in 55-75 days.
Depending on the temperature of incubation, bearded dragons will change sex inside their eggs before hatching.
Bearded Dragons Are Venomous… To Insects
Researchers have found the presence of venom in the bite of a bearded dragon.
However, it is a very mild venom, incapable of hurting humans.
Beardies seem to use this venom to subdue their favorite prey, insects.
It is possible this venom was stronger in the bearded dragon’s ancestors, and it evolved to be weaker over time.
While a bearded dragon will usually burrow or lay in a hammock for its nighttime sleep, bearded dragons will sometimes sleep in a standing or upright position.
Some owners have also noted a tendency for beardies to lie on their backs, stomach-up while basking
Take Them For A Walk!
Putting a harness on your bearded dragon and taking it outside is the best way for it to absorb its necessary vitamin D3 from sunlight.
They will also appreciate the new experiences gained on the walks.
Just make sure it is warm enough for them outside
They Change Color
When a bearded dragon changes color, it usually communicates a change in mood or an adjustment to a new temperature.
Though their beards do change color to be darker along with their body temperature, the rest of their bodies can change color as well.
The average noted age for a bearded dragon in captivity is between four and ten years of age.
However, there are cases of beardies living well into their teens.
If you keep your bearded dragon using proper husbandry, giving them a proper diet, and providing them with mental stimulation and affection, they will most likely have a longer and fuller life.
Whether you are lucky enough to own one of these fascinating creatures, or you are just curious, we hope you have enjoyed our list of bearded dragon fun facts.
Now, explore our many resources on this pet on our website.
The Bearded Dragon Handbook
You’ll save time and money right away with this easy-to-follow digital handbook. This is the guide you’ve been looking for everywhere.