This World Lizard Day, we’re giving a special shout out to the Inland Bearded Dragon. 

This little critter is famous for its spiky appearance, but there’s more to this dragon than meets the eye.

Get to know the Inland Bearded Dragon with these sharp facts…

1.    If looks could kill
Despite its spiky appearance, this little critter is more bluff than bite. In the face of danger, the Inland Bearded Dragon opens its mouth wide and puffs out its jaw and body, making it seem larger and its spiky beard appear more menacing. 
It’s an impressive performance, but in actual fact, the spikes are quite rubbery and flexible!

2.    Drink up!
This dragon won’t let good water go to waste. During light rain, the Bearded Dragon has been seen standing on its rear limbs with its head tilted back, lapping up the rain as it falls. Apparently, it can stay in this standing position for 20 to 30 minutes.

3.    Colour me scary
These dragons vary in colour and can be shades of red, brown or yellow. They are typically the same colour as the environment they inhabit, making them masters of disguise. Plus, they can undergo rapid colour change, completely changing their appearance within a matter of minutes. Mature males are known to change the colour of their “beard” to black if they feel threatened, making it seem more intimidating when its jaw is puffed out.

4.    Say what?!
They might not vocalise, but they sure do communicate! Bearded dragons make themselves understood by bobbing their heads, inflating or waving their arms.  What does it all mean? Here’s a simple translation:

  • Slow head bob: a female’s way of showing they’re keen on a male
  • Fast head bob combined with an inflated and blackened beard: male exerting dominance
  • ‘Whole body’ bobbing: a cue for mating
  • Arm waving: this means surrender/submission

5.    Hot egg = female dragons
The temperature of incubation can override genetics when it comes to these dragons.  Although there are genetic differences between males and females, if eggs are incubated in temperatures above 32 degrees Celsius, some genetic males can be born as functional females. 

You can visit this special lizard species in our Reptile Encounter!