Is A Bearded Dragon A Lizard?

One of the most popular pet reptiles is the bearded dragon. It is even one of the most popular pets in the UK! You can even find them in the popular film Holes, although they were poisonous and went by another name. But what is the Bearded Dragon? Is a Bearded Dragon a lizard or a dragon? 

Bearded Dragons are a type of lizard. More specifically, they are scientifically called the Pogona vitticeps. You will find that they are not, in fact, dragons. Bearded dragons are lizards that are part of the Agamidae family. 

Bearded Dragons are amazing lizards as pets. They have unique traits and provide for a great companion without needing too much interaction. If you want a pet to keep you company with a little less fur, this may be the one for you. Here is everything you need to know.

What Makes A Bearded Dragon A Lizard? 

Lizards are a group of reptiles with specific characteristics. Unlike snakes, lizards have four legs and typically have movable eyelids. This is with the exception of the gecko species of lizards. In addition, lizards typically have a small head, short neck, long bodies, and a tail. ( Source: San Diego Zoo ).

A bearded dragon is in fact a lizard that meets all of these physical characteristics. The bearded dragon is part of the Agamidae family of lizards. This family would also include the Chinese Water Dragon and the Frilled Dragon

Of all the lizard species, bearded dragons make some of the greatest pets. They are a perfect size and are great for handling. Their size makes them just big enough to not be fragile but not so large that they pose serious risks. 

What Type Of Lizard Is A Bearded Dragon?

Are Bearded Dragons Lizards or Dragons?

Bearded Dragons are lizards and part of the reptile kingdom. They live in deserts and savannas, meaning they like the dry atmosphere. You won’t find them living in caves like salamanders or living on the forest floor in the Amazon. They like the heat and warm, arid areas.

Here is the taxonomy of the Bearded Dragon:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Agamidae
Genus Pogona
Species vitticeps

Characteristics And Physical Appearance

Bearded dragons were named after the beard of spikes that are found under their chin. They can puff this up to make themselves look much larger and intimidating when threatened. The bigger the beard, the more likely they can chase away any predators.

Its skin is often brown or tan to blend in with its environment: sand and savannahs. Sometimes they will have yellow depending on the type of Bearded Dragon. Some bearded dragons are capable of changing their color to make themselves look larger and more threatening.

Their skin is often dry because they live in dry, hot areas like deserts. They cannot keep their core temperature high because they are considered ‘cold-blooded,’ so they absorb heat through their skin from the natural lighting.

These species live with others within the same breed, but most often, you will find that males live a solitary life. They can be quite territorial and don’t like to share their area with other males. Females can share a habitat if the enclosure is large enough, but they too can become 

aggressive towards each other.

Why Are They Called Bearded Dragons?

Bearded Dragons get their name because of the spikes on the bottom jaw and neck that they can puff out. This makes them look like bearded dragons and can be quite intimidating to anyone or anything trying to approach it.

This area they can puff up is called the gular pouch. It can get quite large, and it can even change colors so that the pouch looks even bigger. They not only do this to present themselves as threatening but for other reasons as well.

When they are threatened, they will also open their mouths to show off their teeth. This makes them look aggressive like they are about to bite. No one wants to fight with something like that and so most times threatens to flee or move on.

How Bearded Dragons Differ From Other Pets

Bearded dragons are considered “exotic” pets because they are from a specific location and need special care. This special care includes having their natural habitat and special consideration when it comes to lighting and heating.

Other than their enclosure, they don’t differ too far from your normal house pets like cats and dogs. If anything, they may be easier to take care of in some ways at least. For the most part, bearded dragons are not too difficult to care for.

You will find that they are quite easy to get along with because of their mellow behavior. It is all about what you prefer and what you think is the best fit for your personality.

But some smaller differences include:

  • They need a specific enclosure.
  • Are cold-blooded and need special lighting 
  • Don’t need to go for walks.
  • Their diet.

Bearded Dragons Are Classified As Lizards 

Bearded dragons are classified as lizards and are part of the Agamidae family of lizards. This means it is related to other popular lizards such as the water dragons and frilled dragons. You will find that bearded dragons make great companions, and you only need one.

Because bearded dragons are lizards, they do require unique care. You will need the right equipment and enclosure. Thankfully, however, with a little bit of knowledge bearded dragon care is not overly complicated. 

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