lexi: (pets: beardie love)
[personal profile] lexi
Handling

Gently scoop up your Beardie with your hand under its belly. Dragons tend to be very trusting and will not necessarily hold on as well as other lizards, so always take care to support your Beardie. They do not like being firmly held; let them rest in your palm. Since Beardies are inquisitive animals, it is always a good idea to create a controlled space in which it may do some exploring. And watch out for the jumpers. One lady e-mailed me and told me about how her Beardie suddenly jumped off her shoulder and landed on the floor. Unfortunately, three days later the same Beardie died of internal injuries from the fall. So keep a close eye on your beardie and never leave him unattended when out of his cage.


Behaviors

Arm waving
This is seen in all Dragons contrary to what you may have read. It is a sign of submission. Basically what they are saying is "please calm down, I do not want trouble" or "you are the king and I am not worth the fuss." Most people believe that if you have two dragons in the same cage the one that waves is the female. This is not 100% accurate. I have seen the males wave to the females. When two males are within sight of eachother one will sometimes wave to the other.

Head bobbing
For male Dragons, this simply means I am king. If two males are within sight of each other this is a must. If both males bob aggressively then a fight may result. However, in most cases, the less aggressive male will slow bob his head, while the dominant male bobs will have lots more motion.Females do a slight nod. In new studies, some herpetologists believe they also bob to judge distance.

Push-ups
Sometimes females display what looks to be a push-up in response to male dragons' head bobs. Most of the time this is seen during breeding season.

Beard displaying
All Beardies will display this behavior but males have much larger beards. This is a sign of aggression or showing off for the females during breeding. Both male and female beards turn black when displayed (males are much darker and some times the darkness spreads down to their shoulders). I have also noticed they display their beards when shedding to help break the skin loose. Also, dragons do what we call "morning exercises." They puff up their beards in the morning as a way of stretching.

Digging
It's a fact of life - Dragons dig. They may dig a hole to sleep in, and to get out of the sun. Females dig burrows to lay eggs and this is totally normal. They may also try to dig a sleeping burrow when it's time to brumate.

Circling and chasing
This is seen in fighting and breeding. Circling with the mouth open means, "I am not turning my back on you," and it could lead to biting and injuries.

Tail up in the air or tail twitching
If the tail is up or twitching it usually means the Beardie is hunting. Sometimes their tail will twitch when they are watching their prey before they give chase.

Gaping
In a healthy dragon, this behavior is normal. They gape their mouth open to release heat for the same reason a dog pants to cool down. Beardies do not sweat, so they do this to release heat. But, at other times it can be a sign of illness also. You might want to read about respiratory infections.

Eye Bulging
There has been a lot of talk about eye bulging and why Beardies do it. Eye bulging is when the Beardie pushes his eyes out a little. It looks like their eyes are going to pop right out! It can be a sign of stress, but in most cases I think they do this to break the skin loose when shedding, or if they have gotten something (like sand) behind them. It also appears that they might do this for the same reason that we rub our eyes. It feels good and we often do it when we are tired.

Hissing
Sometimes when startled, both the male & the female will display their beards,open their mouths, and make a kind of hissing noise. This is a defense warning. Don't be alarmed, Beardies will hardly ever act on their threats. It's usually all show and no bite.

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beardies: yellow bearded dragon with tongue sticking out (Default)
The Dragon's Lair

February 2010

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