What Is a Central Bearded Dragon?

Karize Uy

A central bearded dragon is a type of reptile categorized as a “dragon lizard.” This dragon belongs to the genus pogona and bears the scientific name “Pogona vitticeps.” They are populous on the continent of Australia, where many other bearded dragons live. This reptile is sometimes referred to as the “inland bearded dragon.” This lizard has a similar appearance to that of an iguana, and evolutionarily, biologists think that it is possible both reptiles are siblings.

The loose flaps of neck skin on the central bearded dragon can inflate when the lizard feels endangered.
The loose flaps of neck skin on the central bearded dragon can inflate when the lizard feels endangered.

This reptile is named the “central bearded dragon” because it has a loose skin flap beneath its throat that can inflate when it is threatened, making it look like it has, indeed, a beard. The “beard” is further emphasized by having a darker color than the overall color of the reptile’s body. Generally, the color of this bearded dragon species comes in shades of tan, brown, yellow and red, imitating the color of the arid lands they reside in. This reptile can subtly change its color to control its temperature, and over the course of its life, also has the ability to entirely change its color. Its tan-toned skin can turn into a blackened one just before its death.

Aside from the beard that can make the reptile seem bigger and more terrifying, another defense mechanism of the central bearded dragon is its rough and spiky skin. In reality, the spikes are quite rubbery to the touch; they just seem to be hard and sharp to make the reptile look unappetizing to predators. The reptile’s body is also rather flat, becoming even flatter during threatening instances, perhaps to make the dragon look larger and become lower to the ground. The dragon can also make a hissing sound when aggravated.

Like many other lizards in its family, central bearded dragons have sturdy limbs that help them run, climb, and escape quickly from becoming a prey. They can even stand upright and walk on two forelimbs if they need to cool themselves from the hot soil. The central bearded dragon is said to be a diurnal reptile, meaning it is usually awake during the day and rests during nighttime. It is also an omnivore that eats a variety of vegetables, insects, and other smaller animals in sight. Its daytime activities would include hunting and foraging for food, lying out in the sun, or burying itself in the soil when it becomes too hot.

The central bearded dragon can grow very long, as long as 2 feet (about 60.9 cm) — its tail and body are about the same length. The reproduction phase will usually begin during springtime when the female dragon will lay up to 30 eggs and wait until approximately 70 days for them to hatch. A baby bearded dragon will already be 3 inches (about 7.6 cm) when it hatches, growing longer as it matures.

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