Bearded dragons hiss and puff up to look fierce. They have spines and scales on their bodies, their heads are large and their jaws are muscular. Here are some cool bearded dragon facts for kids.
Top 12 Bearded Dragon Facts for Kids
Here a list of the most interesting bearded dragon facts for kids. 🙂
1. Are They Really Dragons?
They are certainly not. Actually, bearded dragon lizards are very nice pets, but they do have a tough appearance.
In science, the species of bearded dragons is known as the pogona genus, which contains eight types of similar lizards. They belong to the Agamidae family which is the iguanian type of reptiles. That’s how we know they’re not dragons.
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2. Bearded Dragons Look Different in the Wild
Did you know that bearded dragons don’t change their colors as often as chameleons do? And they rarely change their scales into the reds and blues that a chameleon would. Mainly because their natural habitat doesn’t require that high level of camouflage.
The basic beige and tan colors of the bearded dragon are often sufficient for desert life. They do change color however, for a different reason. When these lizards are in a fight or chased by a predator, their beards turn a couple of shades darker.
Their color also changes when it’s too hot or too cold. These natural events aren’t normal for pet bearded dragons. Also, the ones in captivity experience a lot of in-breeding.
That’s why you’d notice a clear color variation for pet bearded lizards if you compare them to the ones in the wild. The domesticated lizards often have yellow, beige, or orange hues. While the wild types are golden brown, dark brown, and black.
3. They’re Not Picky Eaters
Bearded dragon lizards will eat pretty much whatever comes under its powerful mouth. It seems to favor large insects like cockroaches and grasshoppers, but it’ll gladly eat small insects just as well. Worms and little rodents aren’t off the menu either.
Watching this lizard’s voracious appetite for insects and small animals, one might think that it is a dedicated meat-eater or carnivore. But that’s not the case. Bearded dragons are omnivores that also eat flowers, leaves, and fruits. Check out our Bearded Dragon feeding list.
4. They Need the Sun and Moon to Survive
Warm-blooded animals, including humans, digest their food to get energy and stay warm. While cold-blooded animals can’t do that. They need an external source of energy to keep their body temperatures warm. That’s why you’d see many types of reptiles lounging in the sun, soaking up its heat.
Once the lizards’ body temperature rises above a comfortable limit, they scramble off to the shade. And on a particularly hot day, they might open their mouths to let some of that extra heat escape.
By nightfall, bearded lizards and many other reptiles might want to lower their temperature a bit more. It helps them to sleep through the night. So they’ll just leave their warm caves and enjoy the night breeze.
By the time the morning comes, they’ll probably be so cold, and so they rush off again to their favorite sunny spot.
5. They Can Live Up to 14 Years
Bearded dragons usually live up to 12 lears. This is considered a long life in animal years. Of course it can’t be compared to the hundreds of years tortoises usually have.
AIn captivity, there are no natural predators to hunt the bearded dragons. The food is also largely available, and it’s generally well taken care of. That’s why it’s now common to see lizards living for 14 years or more.
6. Bearded Dragons Nod, Wave, and Hiss
Bearded dragons are very entertaining animals. One of my favorite bearded dragon facts for kids is that they often nod and wave.
Snakes, tarantulas, and many types of fish, have a reputation of being extremely unresponsive pets. In a sharp contrast to that, bearded dragons are quite communicative. Especially to other lizards.
When they want to assert their authority, they’ll puff up, nod, and hiss. As for the waving thing, it’s actually quite charming. Young bearded dragons wave in reverence to older ones, females to nice males, and it’s generally a sign of friendliness.
7. Why Do Females Stop Eating and Start Digging?
When females are about to lay eggs, they show a unique behavior. They gradually stop eating, and they seem to focus completely on digging little holes. That’s probably in preparation for having her bearded lizard babies.
8. They Don’t Like Having Roommates
Bearded lizards are such sweet pets. But they don’t extend that same generosity to other members of their species. They’re known to fight with male lizards over territory. And even when they have a female lizard around, they don’t always welcome that newcomer to their terrarium.
9. Australia Doesn’t Sell Bearded Dragons as Pets
In 1960, Australia issued a law that banned selling wild animals as pets. Bearded dragons were hunted before that time, and sold in many parts of the world as exotic animals. While they’re still abundant in the Australian deserts, it’s illegal to try and get one form there.
10. Bearded Dragons Are Clever Climbers
The spines and backward-facing scales on the bearded dragon’s skin help it a lot in climbing. When it goes up the rocks, these spines and scales help it to cling. And as the scales are directed to the back, they keep the lizard from slipping downwards.
They’re also highly coordinated, even though this doesn’t show too well in their wiggly walk. But as climbers, they exhibit plenty of agility.
11. They’re Close Relatives of Iguanas
Bearded dragons come from the same family of iguanas. And it certainly shows in the general appearance of both.
They do live in very different habitats though, so this is bound to leave some marks on their behaviors and lifestyles. Mainly, bearded dragons are more docile, smaller in size, and eat anything. Iguanas are aggressive, large, and purely herbivorous.
12. Bearded Dragons Do Some Brumation in Winter
This is our last bearded dragon facts for kids. When the temperature drops in winter, and the days become much shorter, bearded dragons go into brumation.
This is a state very close to hibernation, but they don’t sleep off the whole season the way frogs and squirrels do. They stop eating, and only drink water from time to time. But they remain awake in a way. This is something they’d do in the wild more often.
Bearded Dragon Facts for Kids: Before We Go
These were some fun bearded dragon facts for kids. But these docile lizards that look so much like mythical dragons are still full of surprises.
The best way to know an animal is by studying where it comes from, and who are its closest relatives. You might also be interested in finding out how it evolved in the last few millions of years. Evolutionary biology is a hugely interesting way to know why things are the way they are today.