Current Bearded Dragon Topics
Stop the press!!! Bearded dragons change colors based on environmental and social conditions!!! Oh! Wait... most of us who have had bearded dragons have known this for quite some time.
However, it's great to see real scientific research being done on reptiles and bearded dragons specifically. While we all know about the various social behaviors, color changes, and such, we know this through our own anecdotal experiences. With more scientific research being performed about bearded dragons, we may learn new subtle details that were previously unknown.
Be sure to check out more information about this new bearded dragon research!
Many people know that humans have sleep patterns. We have the different phases of sleep, including REM (rapid eye movement) and slow wave sleep. And in each phase our brains go into different patterns of stimulation than when we're awake and cycles regularly between each phase.
Well, it turns out that bearded dragons also have sleep patterns. This was previously not known. A new study led by Dr. Gilles Laurent from the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany has led to this discovery in bearded dragons and is hoped to help us better understand how sleep patterns have evolved. A bit geeky, but neat stuff. Anyone ever wonder... what do bearded dragons dream about?
For more information, check out this article or Google search for "bearded dragon sleep patterns" under the news tab on Google.
In these colder months with less daylight, many of our bearded dragons decide to take a deep slumber. This can be very scary for the keeper of a bearded dragon, as they don't want to eat, they sleep all day, and in many ways, this resembles serious illness.
Georgina Rayner of Swell Reptiles (UK) has contributed a nice little article with helpful tips during this difficult times. Be sure to read the new article, "Practical Tips for a Healthy Bruiting Bearded Dragon".
And if you would like to read more information on brumation, check out our previous article on the topic, written by Denise Bushnell.
Bernard, a bearded dragon in Putney, had gone missing on September 2nd. His owners quickly took action and put up fliers and notified their local Guardian. They urged their neighbors to keep an eye out for Bernard, who may have been hiding in their gardens and yards. While Bernard had plenty of local insects to keep himself fed, the family was concerned that he was vulnerable to other predators and the cold of night.
But fortunately, two days later, Bernard found his way back home. He was cold and and hungry, but he was well. "Two days later Bernard appeared back at home, cold hungry and not giving any clues to where he had been or how he managed to get home" [Putney SW15].
As I had mentioned in my previous post, please be careful with your bearded dragons and keep a close eye on them when you have them out of their enclosure. They can be fast and sneaky! I, for one, am very happy to hear that Bernard and the Nielsen family are once again united.
I follow the news as it relates to bearded dragons, trying to keep an eye out for the latest happenings to pass on to all of you. I have to admit, when it comes to news, there isn't a lot of variety, as you might have noticed we don't have 2-3 new news stories to share each day. But what I have noticed is that certain types of stories seem to dominate the news. In particular, there seems to have been an increase in reporting about lost or abandoned bearded dragons. Individually, they don't seem like something I should post about, but collectively, it is worth bringing up.
In the past year, there have been many stories about abandoned or possibly lost bearded dragons. There's been Hector in Lake Oswego (lost, but found owner), the bearded dragon of Rhigos Mountain (UK), the "dumped dinosaur" of London, and our friend at Bradshaw Animal Shelter (California). There really are many more out there, but this would just turn into a long list. This issue seems to have made the news in the UK more than other places. And there seems to be increased efforts to tighten the exotic pet laws.
So, let's discuss alternatives before the government makes it illegal to own bearded dragons.
1) Make sure you keep your bearded dragon in a secured enclosure. If you're a forgetful person, open-top (as opposed to sliding front glass) is likely safer.
2) Always keep an eye on your beardie. They are not cats or dogs. If you just let them run around the room, you may lose track of them and they may find a way to escape. If you'd like to have your beardie enjoy a little outdoor sun, check out the screened reptariums available out there.
3) Do not abandon your beardie. Many people don't realize how much they end up costing or how long they end up living. It's okay. It happens. But don't make one mistake into a bigger one. It's not just illegal. It's cruel and unethical to just abandon your beardie with no way to fend for itself. They are not native to where you live (most likely) and cannot survive on their own.
If you need to find a new home for your beardie, many people are more than happy to help. The For Free forum is a great place to post about a beardie you need to find a new home for. Alternatively, you can also post in the Beardie Rescue forum about finding your beardie a new home.
So, please be careful with your bearded dragons. And if you can't take care of them, please put in the effort to find someone who can. It's the right thing to do.
So, it seems that bearded dragons are capable of changing their gender under circumstances of extreme heat. Specifically, male bearded dragons with specific chromosomes can become female.
This is believed to be a genetic trait evolved with the effect of keeping the species alive during extreme times, as more females can lay more eggs, and thus increase the chances of survival of the species.
However, it's worth noting that this has not yet been observed in nature. The reasons for this can be complex. One theory is that it's possible that certain conditions in nature counteract this effect
"The findings suggest that as global temperatures rise, bearded dragons can quickly change their sex determination process from one governed by chromosomes to one governed by temperature." - ABC Science
I have to say, with all my years of having kept bearded dragons, this was one discovery I wasn't expecting to read about! Oh, and I know this shouldn't need to be said, but please do not try to change your beardie's gender by baking them with extreme heat.
If you'd like to read the original study, published in the Nature journal, it can be purchased from them directly.
What happens when you take one bold bearded dragon and one gentle cat and put them together? They become best buddies! Meet Puppet and Puff! These two are an adorable pair that very much seem to appreciate the company that the other provides. They enjoy lounging in sunbeams together, and even play dress-up. Although, I'm not so sure both of them are enjoying it as much as their keeper.
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But no costume is as adorable as watching these two bond over the warmth of a sunbeam!
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Happy Holidays, you two!
One thing I did want to caution for those who have cats and bearded dragons, please please please be careful if you choose to introduce you bearded dragon and cat together. It can be just as easy for a cat to decide that your beardie is a toy or a snack and injure the dragon. So, stay safe and keep an eye on them at all times.
Be sure to check out Puppet and Puff's Facebook page.
I think that most people who visit this website understand that animals should be cared for, well fed, and certainly not neglected. But not everyone in this world seems to feel the same way. Fortunately, in the case of Reptiquatics of Whitley Bay (UK), the owners should not be able to cause any more harm than they already have.
After pleading guilty to charges of animal cruelty, they've been banned from trading/selling animals for 10 years, and 200 hours of unpaid work. Some may view this as a light sentence, but at least their actions were met with just consequences.
The judge was quoted as saying, "... it's not just negligence on your behalf, there is some amount of intent. You knew what the requirements were of you in keeping these animals."
What did they do? As their exotics center was failing, they would leave the animals unattended for a week at a time. No food, no water. And based on the condition of some of the animals, I'm guessing when they did check in, that the care was probably not very good either. For example, one emaciated bearded dragon weighed in at only 192 grams and died. For those not aware, most dragons should be between 350 and 600 grams. Other failures of care.... temperatures were too low and lighting and water filtration systems were turned off.
The lesson here... if your business is failing, keep your personal integrity and make sure you still do right by the animals you were once caring for and selling! Heck, it would have been better for them to have a "giving away for free" event, than to simply let the poor animals suffer the neglect.
The same goes for any individual who finds that they can't care for their bearded dragon. Do the right thing and at least find the little one(s) a new home. On BeardedDragon.org, we have a For Free forum where people can seek a new home for their beardie (or anything else you may be looking to give away for others to use).
Most of us who have cared for bearded dragons for any significant period of time know that they tend to be more pale in color at night, and more vivid and dark in color during the morning/day. In general, most of us have thought that it strictly had to do with the temperature. When it's cold, they slow down and color gets pale. When they warm up, their colors come out. That makes sense, right? Well, apparently, that's not all she wrote, to borrow a phrase.
While the actual temperature may still play a part, studies at the University of Melbourne showed that a bearded dragon's body color would still change, to a lesser degree, with the time of day even if they were kept in complete darkness.
"Dragons are typically dark-brown in the morning, which helps them to absorb more heat to reach their active body temperature. Then, when they need to control their body temperature during the heat of the afternoon, their skin turns a light cream or orange colour, and remains that way throughout the night."
While this information may not be as helpful to those of us who keep bearded dragons as pets, now you have a little bit of "useless information" to pull out when you next hang out with your reptile keeping friends!
You can check out the story on this study at the ABC Science website.
So, what happens when an 18" lizard finds itself in a place that doesn't allow them? You end up with freaked out Hawaiians who don't know what it is! But for those of us who know and love our bearded dragons, we would have immediately identified it as an adorable beardie.
It seems that a bearded dragon managed to find its way under the home of a Hawaiian family. They heard scratching and thought it was a rat, at first. When they discovered the 18" bearded dragon, they contacted the authorities to come get it. Hawaii definitely has its problems with invading species. They're not sure how this bearded dragon made its way to the island. Sadly this was most likely someone's escaped pet.
Hopefully this beardie will be able to find its way to a happy and safe home. And hopefully, more people in the world will learn what a bearded dragon is, and that they're generally harmless and docile reptiles.
Check out the news broadcast on KHON2's website!