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Why Bearded Dragons Are Intelligent Reptiles
Posted on : 12/01/2014 10:09:32 PM

For some time now, the bearded dragon reptile has found its way into thousands of homes year after year. It’s not coincidence that so many pet owners opt to raise such an extraordinary lizard as opposed to the common cat or dog.  The truth is, bearded dragons are not only entertaining creatures, but upon further observation, they are actually intelligent as well.

These reptiles have, through evolution, developed specific behaviors that let them communicate with each other in a humorous manner. For such a small animal with presumably a small brain, many people would never expect the beardie to have such a capability.  Here are some reasons why I believe these dragons are smart reptiles.

Like many animals from the animal kingdom, there must be a hierarchy. The bearded dragon is no exception to this, even in captivity. So when one beardie wants to display a sign of dominance, he will do a number of things.

Head bobbing is the act of bobbing the head up and down while facing another dragon. This is most common when two male dragons are feeling each other out and trying to see who is the biggest and badest dragon in the cage. This behavior can also be seen frequently during mating season. Now if both dragons start to bob their heads, then it may be time for the beard to come out.

Have you ever wondered why these lizards are called the “bearded” dragon? It’s because they actually can create a black beard that resembles a human’s beard. They will puff their throats out and the color will gradually turn black. This is another attempt that saying “I’m the alpha dragon.”

Sometimes one of the two will back down for various reasons. It could be because they are smaller, younger or just more docile. If that’s the case, expect to see the behavior we call “arm waving.” The arm wave is when a beardie slowly raises one arm and waves in a counter-clockwise or clockwise motion (depending on which arm is waving). After this, the other dragon will know exactly what he means and will not pursue further actions.

Arm waving is great because it shows just how intelligent these beings are. In a way, they are solving their problems by themselves. Instead of fighting it out, they are working things out like civilized reptiles.

Not all behaviors belong to the males. When a female is ready to mate, she will do pushups to signal to the male that she is ready to go. You won’t likely see this if you have only males or only females, but with one of each, this is a great behavior to observe.

As you can see, bearded dragons have developed an array of behaviors that are not only interesting for humans to watch, but for them to communicate as a species. I’ve been raising reptiles for quite a while and I’ve never seen reptiles that behave in such a way. The intelligence of these creatures is far from what you would expect from something so small. If you’ve ever considered raising a reptile or pet for that matter, these lizards will not disappoint you.

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