Monday, June 21, 2010

A Lizardly Lesson

Tweetey has shown some curiosity about my lizards even tho she says she is not fond of them. A little background on our Beardies; we got these two about eight years ago when they were very very young, probably no more than a month or two old.

These were not our first lizards. We had a Giant Bearded Dragon, which is what we have now (except these are not Giants), and had taken a week's vacation to Virginia Beach. We boarded that lizard, which we also raised from a juvenile, at a respected place that specialized in reptiles and had a reptile room that they opened up to visitors. When we got back home, there was a frantic message on our answering machine from the owner of the place, (who was known as Noah, tho I don't think that was his real name.)

I returned Noah's call to find out someone had grabbed our lizard from his cage and had run out of the door with him. The police had been called. There had been a rash of robberies of exotic animals from pet stores, and our lizard was one of many pets that had been stolen around southern Virginia, where we lived.

Who could be so heartless as to steal this little boy's pet???

My son tried to be very brave but a few tears ran down his little cheeks so Noah gave him a baby lizard and we bought another. And that's how we ended up with these two love bugs.

Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) are from the desert of Southeastern Australia and first appeared in the USA in the early 1990's. They quickly became a favorite among reptile lovers because they are so calm and because of their dinosaur like appearance. They are incredibly docile, enjoy being held and hand fed and are often seen waving their arms at their owners.

Bearded Dragons are called such because they display a black beard as a defense mechanism (called 'headbanging.') It's usually a male thing but I have seen my female do it too.

When Beardies lay eggs, that group of eggs is called a 'Clutch.' Our female has laid about 4 or 5 clutches, none of them hatched, but I don't know why..maybe the humidity was wrong and that's a vital thing..or maybe they were infertile eggs since I did not candle them. Each time she laid over a dozen eggs, and not that small in size, either.

These Beardies are less than a year old but the video will give you some idea of how big these eggs are:

There is another neat thing about Bearded Dragons; they can be forced into a deep sleep, called brumation, which is sort like a two or three month hibernation. I have never done this but often breeders will force brumation in order to bring on ovulation. During brumation Beardies can be placed in a shoebox and set on a closet shelf for the duration. They are not dead! Their body functions have simply slowed down to almost nothing.

I love my lizards, and recommend Beardies to everyone. The are affectionately referred to as the kittens of the lizard world and they really deserve that title.


  1. They are cute but I am still afraid of them.. Thanks for the explanation though.. We are having more yahtzee and popcorn tonight when I get off my duff and go make it..LOL..

  2. Is the one underneath the other one not well? - its not meant to look like that bless him


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