Behaviors of Male & Female Bearded Dragons

Written by tracy moore
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Behaviors of Male & Female Bearded Dragons
A bearded dragon makes for an interesting pet. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

A bearded dragon is a form of reptile, getting its name from the bone structure under the chin resembling a beard. It originated in Australia and typically lives about 10 years in a controlled environment. Bearded dragons are usually good with people, make good pets, and love to be touched and held.

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Inflated Beard

When the bone structure under the chin of the bearded dragon looks inflated, it means the animal feels threatened. The body will flatten out and the "beard" will inflate and become darker. Some bearded dragons, if they feel threatened, will open their mouths and hiss while showing their teeth. The males tend to do this more to show dominance over the females and young ones. They do this mostly during breeding season, trying to impress females.

Arm Waving

Young bearded dragons will "wave" by raising one front leg and moving it in a circular motion. They may even switch legs and positions while doing this. This is meant to show submission to older dragons after an adult dragon's head bob. It may also be done by adults, both male and female of the species, who are submissive.

Head Bobbing

Either during mating season or when a bearded dragon feels threatened, it will do a head bob. A very fast, intense head bob indicates that the animal is ready to mate. A fast, but less-jerky bob means the dragon may be aggressive. A slower bob indicates submission, used more by females and young dragons. It may also mean they are saying "hello" when an owner approaches the cage or living environment.

Tail Curling

A sign that your bearded dragon is healthy is when the tail curls and points forward toward the head. It means that the animal is focused intently on something such as eating. Females of the species use this gesture when they want to mate. If a dragon is moved into a new environment, it may also curl its tail.

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