Is Bearded Dragon Cohabitation A Good Plan?

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ziggy23

Gray-bearded Member
I think explaining the difference between social and non-social animals from a biological point of view might be helpful. And I would like to apologize in advance because I'm not the most organized thinker, or a very good writer.

Social animals are social because it is necessary for them to live in groups for both survival. If alone for a prolonged period of time, they will feel driven to seek it out. Isolation will cause mental and behavioral problems, and their health will be effected even if provided with all that it needs physically. Humans are social creatures. We don't leave babies alone in the NICU because it has been proven that isolation causes problems and affection actually strengthens their immune system. There have been studies that show emotionally neglected children have more sick days in school and score less on standardized tests. Prolonged solitary confinement in prisons has been deemed cruel and unusual punishment because it has such a severe effect on our psyche. Even though we have evolved as a society where you could live completely independent without needing help from others for physical survival, we still require that social interaction to be healthy and at our best. That basic biological drive is with us and drives us to seek out relationships even when we keep getting hurt by it. We can not escape this, it is a basic biological need like food and shelter.

Ever hear the saying God made babies cute so parents wouldn't throw them out the window? That's not far from the truth. When you hold a baby, both you and the infant's brain creates bonding hormones. The more holding the stronger the bond. That's why a lot of people get the baby cravings after they hold someone elses baby. In a way they're kinda going through bonding withdrawal. The parents bonding to the baby is what keeps them caring for it even when it's hard and they're putting their own health and sanity at risk. The babies and children bond to adults because it keeps them from wondering too far away before they're able to care for themselves. The same bonding hormones are produced when we have any positive interaction with others to varying degrees throughout our lives.

All that is true of all social animals. Dogs are notorious for getting separation anxiety. They are pack animals, it is not natural for them to be left alone. Although cats are thought of being very independent, they are still social animals. When they're kittens they create strong bonds with their mother and siblings. That strong family bond when they're babies allows them to bond with humans when they're on their own. They require a great deal of attention and affection in order to be healthy and happy. We don't think too much of it because the mother takes care of all that. But without it, it's one of the things that separates a domestic cat from a feral one. That early family bonding is of essential for all social animals. It's what sets them up to have healthy relationships for the rest of their lives. Without it, they will physically suffer. Even as adults they will not be as physically healthy and create lifelong mental and behavioral problems. This is true of all social animals including humans.

Now lets look at nonsocial animals. I'll use wild reptiles as an example. When it comes to families the parents are nothing but sperm and egg donors. The adults mate, then go their separate ways. The mothers lay their eggs and forget about them. The babies are independent from the day they hatch. As soon as they're able they go off to seek out their own little space in the world. If they were to wonder into their parents territory they're just as likely to be killed, maimed or eaten as any other intruder. Reptiles tend to lay very large clutches because most will not survive to sexual maturity. (social animals have a smaller number of babies because too many would put too much strain on the mother to care for them) Groups of babies without a protector is a more visible target for predators. Food is scare and competition fierce. If they were to stay together, then there would be less food to go around, making all eventually suffer. To bond with other animals, to put them first, to share limited resources would be to the determent of the health and could get them killed.

Reptiles are highly evolved creatures. They have been on this earth longer than humans and will probably still be here after we're gone because of their ability to adapt. Cold blooded animals are built to be efficient, more so than us. To even create the hormones required for bonding would be a waste of precious resources. Even if their brains were capable of making the chemicals needed for bonding the lack of a mother/child relationship would destroy that even in the most social creatures.

As you can see, socialization is a chemical/biological thing. Some animals have need of it, some do not. To expect a solitary animal to be social is no different than asking a dog to stop being a dog, a cat to do tricks on demand, or a tiger to be a house cat. You are asking them to do something they are not biologically capable and go against thousands or billions of years of instinct. We are the most evolved creatures on this planet and we can't escape our biology. It's unreasonable to expect it of the "lesser" beings if we can't do it ourselves.
 

Germ

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
GlueStick":1lv1rdb7 said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B75IrV9tqcw

This person needs a serious talking to. Was browsing waterfall builds and found this. His explanation for cohabitation is... amazing -_-
There are sooooo many uninformed people out there ...

The scary part, is that there are people asking him for advice ... And he's giving it ... And there are some, that WILL listen because that is what they want to do, without researching further ... :angry5: :angry5: :angry5: And it is the animals that suffer for it ...

Ziggy puts a great perspective & insight into understanding the Psyche of an altogether different species, that many try to 'Humanize'. *Thumbs Up*

Germain
 

GlueStick

Sub-Adult Member
ziggy23":6sbze04e said:
...
Now lets look at nonsocial animals. I'll use wild reptiles as an example. When it comes to families the parents are nothing but sperm and egg donors. The adults mate, then go their separate ways. The mothers lay their eggs and forget about them. The babies are independent from the day they hatch. As soon as they're able they go off to seek out their own little space in the world. If they were to wonder into their parents territory they're just as likely to be killed, maimed or eaten as any other intruder. Reptiles tend to lay very large clutches because most will not survive to sexual maturity. (social animals have a smaller number of babies because too many would put too much strain on the mother to care for them) Groups of babies without a protector is a more visible target for predators. Food is scare and competition fierce. If they were to stay together, then there would be less food to go around, making all eventually suffer. To bond with other animals, to put them first, to share limited resources would be to the determent of the health and could get them killed.

Reptiles are highly evolved creatures. They have been on this earth longer than humans and will probably still be here after we're gone because of their ability to adapt. Cold blooded animals are built to be efficient, more so than us. To even create the hormones required for bonding would be a waste of precious resources. Even if their brains were capable of making the chemicals needed for bonding the lack of a mother/child relationship would destroy that even in the most social creatures.

As you can see, socialization is a chemical/biological thing. Some animals have need of it, some do not. To expect a solitary animal to be social is no different than asking a dog to stop being a dog, a cat to do tricks on demand, or a tiger to be a house cat. You are asking them to do something they are not biologically capable and go against thousands or billions of years of instinct. We are the most evolved creatures on this planet and we can't escape our biology. It's unreasonable to expect it of the "lesser" beings if we can't do it ourselves.

I agree with this completely. Its mostly what separates mammals from any other species in the world.
I must point out that there are exceptions to this. A few skink species do create 'parenting bonds', laying one to two eggs at a time, defending and caring for young for a short period of time, and sometimes living in medium sized colonies. And we can't forget to mention the platypus! =P

But yes, most reptile species are independent animals and certainly not domesticated or tame in a biological sense. They are however heavily adaptable, as you mentioned, which is why they've been around so long.

I posted that video as another visual representation of human ignorance. I was shocked to read the advice he was giving!
 

Caramell

Hatchling Member
GlueStick":2vdyoe9i said:
And we can't forget to mention the platypus! =P

Platypus is an egg-laying mammal, or monotreme, it isn't a reptile at all. Just so you know... :)
 

GlueStick

Sub-Adult Member
Caramell":3llm7ug4 said:
GlueStick":3llm7ug4 said:
And we can't forget to mention the platypus! =P

Platypus is an egg-laying mammal, or monotreme, it isn't a reptile at all. Just so you know... :)

Uh yeah, its a mammal...but with characteristics of a bird and reptile (egg laying, duck billed, and venomous) and several different sex chromosomes. And nurture young like those few skink species which is why I pointed it out, an exception to overall mammal species as skinks are to reptiles with cohabitation.
 
I have two three month olds in a 30 gallon tank, and now I'm trying to convince my mom to either let me another tank with the lights or another heat light and I'd split the cage down the middle, but I'd rather get another tank. I didn't want two dragons, I worked for one, and the second was a surprise from my dad. They're young, so I suppose I have till, maybe, the end of the school year to separate them.
Anyways,
Are they are any signs of aggression I should be looking out for? They don't really get into stacks, although the smaller one is one the branch and the other dragon is one the floor. They are about half an inch size difference. I always handle them together to see if they would puff they're beards at each other, and maybe they would tolerate each other just a while longer. Still, I'm away at school for seven hours... Plenty of time to hide the body...
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
That is the problem with cohabitation.

There could be absolutely no signs of aggression, and then you come home after school/work to a missing hand.

I am not trying to scare you or anything but I believe the point of the first post was to make people aware that there doesn't have to be signs for something bad to happen.

-Brandon
 
claudiusx":fsmmc0p3 said:
That is the problem with cohabitation.

There could be absolutely no signs of aggression, and then you come home after school/work to a missing hand.

I am not trying to scare you or anything but I believe the point of the first post was to make people aware that there doesn't have to be signs for something bad to happen.

-Brandon

Well, that being said,
Do you think I could split the tank down long-ways with cardboard and tape? Long-ways so the dragons would both have the warm and cool side but, oh! I need another food bowl. I could probably do with out a water bowl... for a while anyways.
I feel like the heat bulb will set fire to the cardboard.
Maybe a duct tape shield, but then I couldn't see one.
Maybe something clear.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I doubt the heat bulb would set the cardboard on fire, its very unlikely that the bulb will get the cardboard to its combustion temperature (which would be over 400 degrees I believe)

But... that doesn't give your dragons very much room to turn around. It seems they would be awfully cramped.

Why won't your parents get you a new tank?
If anything you can play the blame game and tell your dad he should have bought you a new tank if he was going to get you a new dragon lol.

If money is an issue, you can always look on craigslist, they usually have someone selling for cheap.

-Brandon
 
claudiusx":1zc7zaqk said:
I doubt the heat bulb would set the cardboard on fire, its very unlikely that the bulb will get the cardboard to its combustion temperature (which would be over 400 degrees I believe)

But... that doesn't give your dragons very much room to turn around. It seems they would be awfully cramped.

Why won't your parents get you a new tank?
If anything you can play the blame game and tell your dad he should have bought you a new tank if he was going to get you a new dragon lol.

If money is an issue, you can always look on craigslist, they usually have someone selling for cheap.

-Brandon

Money isn't an issue, it's really the time of getting it. I'm paying for everything, so they wouldn't not have to worry about that, yet they still grill me if I am absolutely positively sure I have the money to afford it. I am not that stupid. But then again.... I have a duo in a single...
I have been looking on craigslist, but there's always a matter of, how do they want to be paid, where do they want to meet up, did they put their email in the ad! Every little inconvenience is another excuse to them to stay put. I know they have work to do, and it's all night long work too. Playing the blame game would NOT end well at all.

If I split the cage I would have to take out the driftwood. Darn.
Also, my mom raised a good point, if I got a new cage, I would also have to pay for new lights, and the UVB bulbs are expensive. And I would have to get the fixtures. And for her, it's double the cost of electric bills, although she seems to think I leave them on 24/7.

It's really just a matter of 'reminding' them about a greeeaaaat deal I've found on everything, going through the interrogation about monetary matters and then hoping they don't get to tired to drive out.

Gah.
I suppose cardboard gates can be a temp thing. I'd never want to have that as a permanent solution...
 

my1stBD

Juvie Member
If getting another tank is an issue for right now i would seperate the tank in the centre.
Move the heat lamp to the centre so they each have a cool side on opposite ends.
Cheap quick temporary tank can be made out of a sterilite type bin (I knew a girl who used one for months till she could save up for a decent viv). With a clamp lamp for heat and youll just need another uvb for the one.
Untill you do take the second dragon outside for some sun every day. Or alternatively swop the current uvb between them (1/2 day each) and take both out for a while daily.
Just take them outsupervised. In a bin or on a leash cos theyre real fast and you dont want them to get lost
 
my1stBD":1ho8zrcq said:
If getting another tank is an issue for right now i would seperate the tank in the centre.
Move the heat lamp to the centre so they each have a cool side on opposite ends.
Cheap quick temporary tank can be made out of a sterilite type bin (I knew a girl who used one for months till she could save up for a decent viv). With a clamp lamp for heat and youll just need another uvb for the one.
Untill you do take the second dragon outside for some sun every day. Or alternatively swop the current uvb between them (1/2 day each) and take both out for a while daily.
Just take them outsupervised. In a bin or on a leash cos theyre real fast and you dont want them to get lost

I should probably do that... although I would probably only be able to the half and half thing on the weekends. I could do my homework outside, and have the dragons in a bin and make a lease for them.

Thanks for the advice. I should have seen this thread sooner, but at least it was before I was digging a grave for one of them.
Allons-y
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Well, bearded dragons are slightly expensive to get them started up.

But, you want to pay this money now because vet bills will not be that cheap.

Also, tell your mom (or don't it might end bad) to check how much money she pays for killowatts per hour.

All the extra lights will only run her another 5 or so bucks a month, depending on where you live. A far cry from the double she is saying (if I interpreted that right. LOL)

-Brandon
 
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