The number one pet lizard in the world is certainly the Bearded Dragon. This is a phenomenon that started about 25 years ago when these animals were imported from their native country of Australia. But very soon we found that they bred readily in captivity and now you'll never see an animal in the US marketplace, the pet marketplace, that comes from Australia. Their ancestors did. They are bred in captivity and bred readily.
And the reason for their popularity is twofold, really. Number one, the bottom one here is pretty much an adult; 18 inches is where they max out. But they come from a very dry habitat, almost desert-like. They'll live on sand. So anybody's ever kept a tropical lizard like an iguana knows what a mess it can be when they do their business. When a Bearded Dragon uses the bathroom, he does it in a tank where there's sand and heat lamps, and it's extremely easier to pick that up than it is something that's tropical in a wet environment. So he's very hygienic.
But, really, the number one reason for their popularity is they are extremely friendly creatures. Nothing you see before you here is a trained animal. This is just the nature of them. We have customers in our store that come in this time of the year, summer time, they have them on their shoulders, they have them under their hats, under their jackets, and they walk around with them. We just recently created, as a matter of fact, a carry bag called a Beardie Bag that we produce here, to carry your Bearded Dragon with you wherever you go, to the super market, to the shopping center and the movies. People keep their dragons with them.
It's got a wow factor because it looks kind of dinosaur-like, but really, all those little appendages and spikes on the side of them are not there for anything but to stop an animal from biting it and swallowing it if it was out in nature. So. it really is not as rough looking as it seems. They are omnivorous in their diet, so they're easy to keep. Any type of insects, crickets, worms, et cetera., they'll gobble up. And they love their greens. So moms love Bearded Dragons because they encourage salad eating throughout the family. The Bearded Dragon's going to eat salad, so do you. So kids have to learn how to do that as well as Dragons do.
The Bearded Dragon has supplanted and taken the place of the Green Iguana, that for decades dominated the industry. Green Iguanas are a difficult animal to keep in comparison to these, and we really promote the use of Bearded Dragons as a pet for a child. These are excellent.
They come now in a variety of colors. In their native land they would be more sand colored, but through captive and selective breeding, we see yellow, orange, and red dragons that are striking in color and just make a tremendous companion.
We call them study buddies here. We call them lap lizards. We call them anything we want as far as to show people they are fantastic companion animals. The Bearded Dragon: easy to keep, never going to bite you, and long-lived, 15, 20 years.