Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wildlife: Bearded Dragon

He's a mid afternoon visitor who got caught out basking in the open yard and when faced with a licky labrador and excited children chose to sit absolutely stock still and pretend to be a stick. Didn't work but allowed some nice photos.

Here's the lowdown on our new friend. Bearded Dragon is the common name for the Pogona which is a genus of lizards containing seven species.

Bearded dragons prefer to live in the arid, rocky, semi-desert regions and arid open woodlands of Australia. They are adept climbers, spending time on branches and in bushes, even found on fence posts when living near human habitation. They also bask on rocks and exposed branches in the mornings and afternoons. The species are found throughout Australia and are well known.

The genus is placed in the subfamily Agaminae of the family Agamidae. Their characteristics include spiny scales arranged in rows and clusters. These are found on the throat, which can be expanded when threatened, and at the back of the head. The species also displays a hand-waving gesture, thought to draw an attack from any predator that may be in the area. They also have the chameleon-like ability to change colours during rivalry challenges between males, and in response to temperature change and other stimuli.


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