How long do bearded dragons live?
The bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is one of the eight species of scaly sauropsids belonging to the agamid family and the genus Pogona. These lovely dragons, characteristic for the fold of skin that they have under their throats, are native to the desert and semi-desert regions of Australia.
The docile and friendly character of bearded dragons towards humans has made them an excellent companion animal, especially for beginner tutors, since these dragons are omnivores, meaning they can feed on everything (vegetables, fruits, insects and small mammals).
Currently, the life expectancy of bearded dragons in captivity is estimated between 10 and 12 years; while, in the wild, their life expectancy ranges between 5 and 8 years.
Bearded dragon lifespan
The life expectancy of bearded dragons is determined by the sex of the species and the environmental conditions where they develop, in other words, the population density of their natural predators, the maximum and minimum temperature levels and the amount of food and water available in its habitat, as well as the effectiveness of the natural refuges that said habitat offers.
The reason for the difference in longevity between both sexes is due to the marked sexual dimorphism of bearded dragons, which offers greater survival advantages to males of the species thanks to their greater size, aggressiveness, defensive capacity and tolerance to high temperatures.
In this sense, a male bearded dragon will have a greater chance of survival in the wild than a female of the same species, although, in captivity, this difference is usually imperceptible.
How long do bearded dragons live in the wild?
In the wild, a bearded dragon can reach a life expectancy of 8 years, and even exceed it. The latter will depend on the sex of the species and the general hostility of the habitat where the dragon grows.
How long do bearded dragons live in the captivity?
In captivity, the life expectancy of bearded dragons ranges between 10 and 12 years, although there are cases in which the twelve-year limit of longevity is exceeded, even reaching 18 years of age.
A bearded dragon in captivity will not be exposed to a risk of predation, nor to a lack of food or water, much less to excessively high or low temperatures if its owner is attentive and offers all the necessary elements to keep it healthy and happy.
Where do bearded dragons live?
All sauropsids belonging to the genus Pogona, including the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), are endemic animals of Australia, that is, in the wild, they can only be found in that country.
Usually, bearded dragons inhabit the desert and semi-desert areas of Australia, although it is also common to see them in grasslands and forests; in fact, these dragons are excellent climbers, meaning they can live comfortably as an arboreal species.
What do bearded dragons eat?
Yes, bearded dragons are omnivorous sauropsids, but that doesn't mean they can be fed recklessly. If you have a bearded dragon as a pet, you should know that their diet is extremely delicate, in fact, despite their ability to assimilate different types of food, you cannot exclusively supply a single type of these.
On the other hand, as a breeder, you should be aware of the low volumetric capacity of the digestive system of your bearded dragon, although the latter is not surprising, since these dragons do not exceed 24 in (60 cm) in length and 16 oz (450 g) in weight.
Now, answering the question in the epigraph, within the favorite and most recommended foods of bearded dragons are:
- Snails (with shell).
- Honey worms.
- Pupae (without silk).
- Vegetables and flowers.
- Jamaica Flower.
- Rose petal.
- Mouse (newborn, hairless).
- Cooked rice.
Caution: do not feed your bearded dragon cheese, onion, garlic, lettuce, eggplant, avocado or cherry. Also, if you regularly give apples to your bearded dragon, don't forget to remove the seeds; the amygdalin present in them can be deadly for your little dragon.
Interesting facts about bearded dragons
Its natural habitat is tremendously hostile
The bearded dragons are native to the desert and semi-desert regions of Australia, areas characterized by their suffocating temperatures, the presence of fearsome predators and the absence of food sources, even for an omnivore like the bearded dragon.
Naturally, it is your duty, as a breeder, to recreate as much as possible the environmental conditions of your bearded dragon's natural habitat. For this, it is recommended to keep the average temperatures of your dragon's terrarium between 86 °F (30 ° C) and 97 °F (36 ° C), during the day, and 70 °F (21 ° C) and 73 °F (23 ° C), at night; while its humidity should not exceed 50%.
Likewise, it is recommended to use a UVB light bulb, as this will recreate the sunlight in your dragon's terrarium, allowing it to properly absorb the calcium from its diet.
Its beard, more than a decorative element, is a defensive element
Yes, the colorful beards of bearded dragons make them lovable and fascinating reptiles to look at, especially when they change color according to their mood. However, this does not mean that the function of his beard is to enchant humans, nothing could be further from the truth.
In reality, a bearded dragon will puff up its spiky scale beard and color it black whenever it feels threatened and scared. The latter in the hope of adopting a fearsome appearance that allows him to drive away his adversary.
Its body language is quite elaborate
The bearded dragons are quite sociable with each other, especially when the struggles for dominance and the hierarchy of a certain group among males of the species has already ceased.
It is well known that bearded dragons have a fairly elaborate and extensive body language when communicating. Some of the most common bodily expressions are the following:
- Head movements (up and down, just as if they were nodding an affirmation).
- Circular hand movements (just like greeting someone).
- Swaying movements with the whole body.
- Tail movements.
Surprisingly enough, females of the bearded dragon species have a specific posture to express their rejection of males, especially if she feels harassed. This posture is extremely effective, since the male almost always understands and stops the courtship.