Western Bearded Dragon

Western Bearded Dragon.

So cute

Pogona comes from the Greek 'pogon', meaning beard and refers to a flap of skin below their jaws that they push forward and 'puff up' when threatened

This very cute small Western Beared Dragon was on the roadway between the chalets and froze to as it to say "You can't see me" I managed to get our of the cleaning car and get this great picture then just touched the tip of it's tail and then it took off!  

There are several species of bearded dragon in Australia. All have a flat body, a broad head and stout legs. Sharp spikes run along the sides of their bodies and their throats, the Western Bearded Dragon is only 30cm long. Most species have a tail that’s as long as their body.

Males are typically brighter in colour than females. Depending on the species, bearded dragons are coloured grey, orange, light brown, brown or black.

They can change colour when aggressive or threatened and also regulate their body temperature through changing their colour: they become lighter in hot weather and darker in cool weather.

The Dwarf or Western Bearded Dragon (Pogona minor minor) also has a wide distribution: it's found across most of Western Australia, the western half of South Australia and the Southwest of the Northern Territory. 

Bearded dragons live in woodlands, coastal dunes, heathland, tropical savannahs and deserts. They're often seen basking on tree stumps, fence posts, branches or boulders. From here they can see predators, prey and mates, all the while soaking up some sun.

Bearded dragon behaviour

In colder months, bearded dragons can enter a state of ‘torpor’ or hibernation. After this winter cooling period, bearded dragons emerge and males start strutting their stuff! They flare their beards, bite each other’s tails and bob their heads.

Bearded dragons have an intricate system of communication: they bob their head or whole body as a sign of dominance and, best of all, they wave their forearm to show submission!

A female can lay a clutch of around 10 to 30 eggs in a burrow, which is then filled to hide the nest. There's some evidence that females can store sperm to fertilise eggs after she lays the first clutch.

Bearded dragons are primarily active in the daytime, though in summer they’re busiest in the early morning and late afternoon. They’re omnivorous lizards: they eat fruits and leaves, invertebrates (such as ants and beetles) and small vertebrates, including other lizards.

Water Tricks - What does a bearded dragon do when there’s no standing water to drink? During light rain, this clever lizard will stand on its front limbs, its head and tail sloping down so that water runs towards its mouth. They’re said to hold this position for 30 minutes at a time!

Threats to bearded dragons

Bearded dragon. Photo Wayne Lawler/EcoPix.

Bearded dragons are eaten by birds, goannas, snakes, dingeos and feral cats and foxes. They're also hosts to several types of internal parasites and mites.

When threatened or alarmed bearded dragons puff out their beards and face intruders with an open mouth. At the same time they expand their bodies by inhaling air, making them seem larger than life, and may emit a low hiss.

The biggest threats to bearded dragons are habitat loss and degradation due to land clearing and cattle grazing. They're also sometimes illegally captured for the pet industry. So within the sanctuary here at Yelverton Brook they have a pretty good life.

You can actually be licensed to own your own Bearded Dragon in WA, a pretty easy care pet. Just imagine saying you "Own a Dragon" to your friends!

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