Monday, November 13, 2006

Bearded Dragon is the common name for any agamid lizard in the genus Pogona. Bearded Dragons are popular exotic pets in many places, notably the Inland Bearded Dragon.

Bearded dragons have broad triangular heads and flattened bodies, with adults reaching approximately 50 cm(19.5 inches) head-to-tail. Males are slightly longer than females, but females are slightly heavier. They owe their name to a distinctive series of lateral spines (specialized scales) radiating horizontally from the head and base of the tail. They are mostly terrestrial, but climb to bask and search for prey. They inhabit mostly open woodlands, scrub, and desert.

All species are native to Australia, but have been exported worldwide, and due to their convenient size, hardiness, and omnivorous diet, are popular reptile pets. They are one of the most popular pet lizards in the United States.

Recognized species of bearded dragons:

Eastern or Common bearded dragon, Pogona barbata
Black soil bearded dragon, Pogona henrylawsoni
Kimberly bearded dragon, Pogona microlepidota
Western bearded dragon, Pogona minima
Dwarf bearded dragon, Pogona minor (some authorities group this with Pogona minima)
Northwest bearded dragon, Pogona mitchelli
Nullabor bearded dragon, Pogona nullarbor
African Rocky Gama, Rockygama
Central or Inland bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps, the most commonly kept pet. Bearded Dragons can puff out the spiny protrusions under their chin beard when they are angry, giving them the appearance of having a humanlike beard. They may bob their heads or wave either of their forearms as communication. A commonly used enclosure size for baby bearded dragons is 10 gallons; adults tend to thrive in enclosures 40 gallons and larger.

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