Any agamid lizard is commonly known as the bearded dragon. It is fast joining the ranks of popular human pets of the exotic and expensive type.
The 24â€ bearded dragons have triangular broad heads and flat bodies. When excited they expand a pouch under their jaws which makes them look larger than what they really are. It is this pouch that resembles a beard and has given them their name â€“ the bearded dragons. Males are larger but females are heavier. Males have two beards while females have one. The creatures have distinctive scales running horizontally down from head to tail. The native soil determines their colour, which may range from brown, green or even black, red and gold. It changes colour with its moods. They live in deserts, dry forests as well as scrublands.
All the 24 species of bearded dragons started off from Australia but since then they have traveled far and wide. Generally they live 8/12 years and are omnivores. Their menu consists of anything they can find in their harsh habitat â€“ vegetables, insects, spiders and sometimes a tiny rodent or lizard. Their stomachs are very large.
These exotic robust pets are very social having a mild temperament and willing to breed in captivity. Their diet is flexible and thus they pose little problem to their human masters. On festive occasions treat them with a juicy cricket with the usual dose of leafy vegetables, worms and fruits.
A 20-gallon aquarium will be an ideal house for the bearded dragon in the human home. There should be at least two basking rocks. They need it for lolling about and shedding their skin. Also it will remind them of their wild habitat. Bearded dragons will also need the rock as a hide to seek shelter, shade and privacy. It will also be a place to hide goodies like small logs. These can be got from pet shops. Another thing they need is light. Install bulbs after consulting with the vet. Without proper light the pet will languish. The light must be bright and white â€“ not coloured. Also see to the temperature of the tank â€“ 95/100.
The new pet must be allowed to get used to the new set up before trying to handle the creatures. Once the initial phase is over, enjoy the feel of your pet. They will soon watch the television with you. The mating process is simple â€“ just give them space to love and lay eggs.
With a personality that is docile and trusting and yet outgoing and curious, these head bobbing creatures are exotic pets reminding us of days gone by when there were no bipeds on this planet.
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