Why are they so spiky?

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Why are they so spiky?

Postby loljelloclowdz » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:56 pm

Mari keeps feeling more and more spiky the bigger and older she gets (she’s approaching 14 months) and I just want to know two things: 1. Why must my lizard slowly feel like a cheese grater and 2. Why must Mari wiggle her very spiky head right on the soft spot of my neck every night? 😂 like I wish her spikes would stop getting sharper with each shed. I guess you have to be a walking pin cushion to survive being dragged out from under things by goannas and dingos, but she’s starting to feel like a bearded dragon now and it’s kinda sad to see her little soft baby scales slowly become adult scales. (I’ve held adult beardies before and they are super spiky lol.) She’s still soft underneath and so I blow raspberries on her beard & stomach and she looks at me like I’m insane for doing that but her little triceratops spikes (she’s like a little triceratops) are super sharp and hurt my skin lol. I still let her snuggle regardless but dang, she can really shave my skin off with those.

Don’t worry, my sister has a hedgehog who is much worse (he is an angry boi) so Mari is nothing compared to him. It’s just sometimes her spikes get me just right and I’m like “oh boy.”
Marijke - 50% red 50% yellow hypo het trans female w/ blue bars from Kids And Dragons
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Re: Why are they so spiky?

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:04 am

I think the spikes are to deter predators. If they catch you at the wrong angle they can hurt a little bit, but they are mostly for show. If they look like they'd be hard to eat, then they may be left alone by predators.
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Re: Why are they so spiky?

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:26 am

I remember asking one of the professional reptile keepers at Erik Warrell's Gosford Reptile park this question when I was a kid .

The answer he gave me was
" bearded dragons are "spikey looking" because it's helps them blend into their surroundings and to helps them look like a bit of tree stump when basking."

Having often seen bearded dragons in the wild in spinifex savannahs , in woodlands and rural areas , this explanation makes sense.
I've often been able to walk right up to wild basking bearded dragons on termite mounds, on tree stumps , on old timber farm fence posts , on old weathered fallen tree branches , literally pick the dragon up ( they freeze and pretend to be part of the termite mound , stump , post ) , but you see their eyes tracking you.

In the wild their only predators are raptors ( wedgetail eagles ), kookaburras ( when they are small and young ) , larger apex predatory monitors , and large pythons , large brown & black snakes, , mulga , tiger and taipan snakes.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why are they so spiky?

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:09 am

That's a good point I didn't think of. The shape adding to camouflage makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Why are they so spiky?

Postby bossdragon » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:58 am

1. Probably to protect themselves from predators
2. It's probably warm, and most bearded dragons I know like to snuggle. It's soft and warm so they like it. Toothless does the same thing but he can't get a grip so he just sits there clawing my neck
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