When we think of the continent of Australia, we think of unusual animals right away, from kangaroos to platypuses to wallabies. They're all over there in Australia, it seems. But there are some that are not that unusual, just fantastic creatures. And one of them is the Pogona Vitticeps, the Bearded Dragon. There's a number of different species in Australia, but the popular one is the dragon you see in front of you here, that has dominated the pet world now for the last 20 to 25 years.
In their native Australia, they're inquisitive creatures that easily inhabit areas where people are. They like to climb fence posts and look out to see what's going on. Males will dominate a territory and have multiple females as mates. And they're prolific breeders. They have up to 20 eggs at a time and they dominate the landscape they come from.
They're quick when they have to be to escape predators. They're extremely fast runners. For the most part, they're kind of sit there and look out and see what's going on animals in the wild. They're very fun and animated to watch.
They'll eat a variety of things from insects to greens to small pieces of meat, such as rodents. Bearded Dragons are largely protected now in their native Australia. They're no longer exported, which is very good. Thank you, Australia, for allowing us to have some of them. But because of their prolific nature, they are no longer hunted there and they're free to multiply and grow in Australia without any danger of being threatened by the pet trade or by confiscation.
The Bearded Dragon gets his name, as you can see, the big male here is going to get a little territorial. First he gets up on his front limbs. And if he gets really agitated with the smaller one in front of him, he'll do two things. First, he'll start bobbing his head up and down to say, "I'm the biggest dragon in this area, so back off." And if that doesn't work, he actually throws out his throat. It turns black and he puffs it out. It looks like a big black beard. And that's where the animal gets his name.
The Bearded Dragon will do that every time an animal is reintroduced into its area. If he wants to threaten it, he will throw that beard out. Sometimes in captivity they don't bother doing it anymore because they're so docile by nature and he knows this other dragon, so he's not really doing it at this moment.
But two males together, one will dominate the other. He'll say, "I'm the biggest dragon here." If the other one is of equal size and equal temperament, they will fight. If not, the smaller one actually submits. And what they do is take their arm and they move it ever so slowly in a counter clockwise direction and the larger dragon will understand that that's like a person saying, "Don't hit me." He puts his hands up and says, "I don't want to fight."
So, they work things out together in nature. In nature, of course, they can disappear and run in different areas. In a captive environment, they have to have that submissive language going back and forth between them in order to avoid fights in captivity. The Bearded Dragon, an Australian treasure for sure.