The most common variety of bearded dragon available in the exotic pet trade is the "inland" bearded dragon. All varieties are native to the woodlands and deserts of Australia.
"Louie" was a house pet prior to finding a permanent home at Black Pine. Likely bred in captivity to be sold for profit, Louie suffered the unfortunate fate of having his long claws chewed off when too many dragons were housed together. He has been disfigured for most of his life as a result and has some difficulty climbing.
Bearded dragons will burrow underground when exposed to extreme heat in their native environment. They can also run on only their back two feet, standing upright as they move, to lift their bodies off the hot desert floor. When threatened, the dragon will flare out the skin around its throat, resembling a "beard".
Bearded dragons can grow to nearly two feet in length and live up to 12 years in captivity. Their special dietary and environmental needs make them undesirable as a pet for most people's tastes. Because as many as 90% of reptiles are carriers of salmonella, those who handle them are at risk of contracting salmonellosis, adding to the negative aspects of keeping bearded dragons as pets.
InfoBox - Bearded Dragon
Diet in wild: Insects and vegetables.
Life span in captivity: 10-15 years.
Size: Males can reach up to 24 inches at adulthood.
Native habitat: Subtropical woodlands, scrublands, savannas, shore areas and interior deserts of Australia.