Welcome to our first blog post!

Today's Blog is all about the Bearded Dragon. We are going to cover the animal with some interesting facts you might not know!

The bearded dragon's scientific name is Pogona Vitticeps and they are medium sized lizards which are generally 12-24 inches in length from their head to the tip of their tail. There are many different bearded dragon colors which sometimes can help tell you what environment they came from.
Heads - The bearded dragon's head is triangular shaped and contains rows of spikes that resemble thorns. Beneath their head, the bearded dragon will have rows of spiked scales which when puffed up resembles a beard. These scales can also change colors, turning darker, when breeding.
Body - The bearded dragon is supported by four stout legs and they have well-muscled flat bodies with a row of spikes that runs down each side of the abdomen. Their tail is generally half the length of their body, and unlike other lizards will not fall off and regenerate when threatened.

Bearded Dragon History

Bearded dragons are only naturally found in Australia's desert regions. Generally they are found in the southeastern Northern Territory and the eastern half of South Australia. Their habitats included woodlands, savannahs, and deserts. It is not uncommon to find them basking in branches, on stumps, or rocks during the morning there.
Bearded dragons were not introduced to the United States until the 1990's. Since then they have dramatically increased in popularity and can be found in just about every major pet store.

How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get

The size and length of a bearded dragon depends on a couple of factors including:
• The species
• Their diet and health
• Their sex

Bearded Dragon Species Size

The most common bearded dragon species is the Pogona Vitticeps, so the chances are if you have a bearded dragon, is is this species. The chart below shows the max size based on the type of bearded dragon, but keep in mind that all dragons are different so their max size will vary.
• Pogona Vitticeps - 24 Inches
• Pogona Barbata - 24 Inches
• Pogona Minor Mitchelli - 18 Inches
• Pogona Minor Minor - 14 to 18 Inches
• Pogona Nullabor - 14 Inches
• Pogona Henrylawsoni - 12 Inches
• Pogona Minor Minima - 12 Inches
• Pogona Microlepidota - 4 to 6 Inches

A healthy bearded dragon will grow faster and larger than a dragon that is malnourished or unhealthy. You can ensure a bearded dragon reaches his or her full size by correctly feeding your bearded dragonand making sure your bearded dragon stays healthy.
Bearded Dragon Size Based on Sex

Like a majority of animals, the males are generally larger than females. So if your bearded dragon is a male your dragon will likely grow to be a larger dragon.

How to Tell How Old A Bearded Dragon Is

Sometimes you may get a bearded dragon and not know how old he/she is. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to get a general estimate of how old a bearded dragon is.

Measuring the Dragon's Size

One quick way you can determine the age of a younger dragon is by measuring the bearded dragon from head to tail. Generally, if the length of the dragon represents the age (up to a certain point).
The below list of sizes is an average estimate and depending on the health and appetite of your dragon, this can vary.

• Length (Inches)Age (Months)
• 3-4 in is around 0-1 months
• 5-9 in is around 2 months
• 8-11 in is around 3 months
• 9-12 in is around 4 months
• 11-16 in is around 5 months
• 11-18 in is around 6 months
• 13-20 in is around 8 months
• 16-22 in is around 12 months

Bearded Dragon Measurement

Determining Age by Sexual Maturity

Most bearded dragons will become sexually mature by 8-12 months of age. This is the point where you can differentiate the difference between males and females. So once you are able to distinguish a bearded dragon's gender, you can assume that he/she is 8-12 months old.

Please keep in mind that there is no way you can accurately determine a bearded dragon's age without contacting the breeder. Bearded dragons are like people, some develop faster/slower and are larger than others at different times of their life.

Bearded Dragon Life Span

Bearded dragons are normally very healthy and hardy lizards. However, their lifespan depends on many factors. The chart below highlights different age ranges you can expect from your bearded dragon:
• 5 to 8 Years - This is the max age bearded dragons get in the wild and is generally how long a dragon will live if their owner just does the basics and doesn't pay any attention to their bearded dragon's diet or health.
• 8 to 12 Years - This is the likely lifespan of a bearded dragon that is kept healthy and is watched closely by their owner.
• 12 to 14 Years - Generally the max lifespan of bearded dragons that are kept in captivity.
• 14+ Years - It is very rare for bearded dragons to surpass 14 years in age, however there have been rumors of dragons living to be as old as 16 years but it has never been officially proven.

Bearded Dragons As Pets

Bearded dragons were first introduced to the United States in the 1990's and since then they have rapidly increased in popularity as pets. So why are bearded dragons loved as pets?
Bearded dragons are usually gentle by nature and you rarely hear of an aggressive bearded dragon, especially towards humans. In fact, bearded dragons do not attack when threatened, instead they freeze, puff their throat, and may change colors.
They are easy to maintain as well. They don't require walks and following a basic routine can be more than enough care for a bearded dragon to live into it's teens. On top of this they enjoy being handled and stroked by people. They may squirm the first few times you hold them, but they will eventually recognize their master and will sit, relax, and perch on a person's body.

Interesting Little Facts About Bearded Dragons

Why Are they Called "Bearded" Dragons
Bearded dragons are called "bearded" because the spikes and scales they have around their head resembles a beard. They use this as a defense mechanism and will expand their throat whenever they feel threatened.

Is My Bearded Dragon Australian?
No, Australia made it illegal to export any wildlife in the 1960's. It is believed that all the bearded dragons found outside of Australia were smuggled out of the country from the 1970's to the early 1990's. The general population of bearded dragons in the United States is so large now that it is unnecessary to import any more, since they can easily be bred.

Bearded Dragons Produce Venom
In 2005 the bearded dragon community was surprised to learn that researchers at Australia's Melbourne University discovered that bearded dragons produce a mild venom. Since the venom is harmless to humans (and a majority of other animals), many researchers believe it was once a trait used by the lizard's ancestors in the past when hunting.

Bearded Dragons Don't Regenerate Body Parts
Unlike some lizards, bearded dragons will not re-grow tails, legs, or anything else. So if your bearded dragon has lost his or her tail, it will not regrow.