Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eastern Bearded Dragon

The Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata) is often mistakenly called a "Frill-neck" lizard though the real Frill-necked Lizard only occurs in northern Australia.

Bearded Dragons are frequently seen basking on roads and tend to live in semi-arborial habitats - open forests, heathland, scrub and disturbed areas such as farmland.

They use trees and often fence posts as a means of escape from potential preditors, a safe basking spot or just to survey their territory from a safe place.

They are about 80-90% vegetarian with leaves, berries, flowers and fruit being the main diet, with insects making up the remainder.

When disturbed, their first line of defence is usually to freeze and make use of camoflage. Their second defence is to extend their beard to make them look bigger than they are and to open their mouth showing the bright yellow mouth lining. Last is to flee - they are remarkably quick runners and climbers.

Refs: Burke's Backyard, Australian Reptile Park

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