Scientific Name: Pogona vitticeps
When in danger, bearded dragons will attempt to appear more threatening by inflating their beards, causing the spiky scales to stand up on end.
These easygoing reptiles are one of many different bearded lizards, which all hail from Australia. In the wild, they usually live for around 10 years, but some owners of these popular pets claim that they can live for up to 15 years in captivity.
STATUS: Inland bearded dragons are quite common in their native country, and so are not threatened or endangered in the wild.
HABITAT: These reptiles are natives of Australia, occupying wide regions in the eastern and southeastern states. They live in a variety of habitats, from deserts to shore areas to dry forests and scrublands.
DIET: An inland bearded dragon’s preferred snack is insects, primarily ants. However, because they tend to live in numerous different environments, as well as in many areas where it is hard to find food, these lizards can’t be picky. In addition to insects, they also eat a variety of plant matter, spiders, and even small rodents or reptiles.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Including their tails, inland bearded dragons are around one to two feet long, and range in color from a dull brown or tan to a bright red or orange. Their trademark “beards” are actually a patch of dewlap, which hangs down from their necks and is covered with pointy scales.
In addition to inflating their “beards” when threatened, bearded dragons will also open their mouths wide and gape at their enemies, as if to say, “Don’t come any closer, or I’ll chomp!” A submissive lizard will gesture to a dominant one with one of its forelimbs, raising and rotating it in small, slow circles. To the observer, it may look as though the submissive dragon is waving hello.