Bearded dragons are lizards native to Australia and Tasmania. The most popular "beardie" for pets is the Inland Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps), also known as the Central Bearded Dragon.
Bearded dragons are typically between 16-22 inches long and can vary in color from yellow to tan to brown. Identified by broad triangular heads and flattened bodies, they have spines on the throat, sides of the head, and sides of the body.
They are diurnal (active during the day) creatures and hunt for insects, small lizards and mammals. Since they are omnivorious, they will also forage for fruit, flowers, and other plant material.
When threatened, dragons will expand the skin around their throat which gives the appearance of a "beard."
Juvenile dragons will spend a significant amount of time in and around trees or bushes, though if it becomes too hot they will burrow underground.
Female dragons can lay up to nine clutches of eggs every year. Each clutch contains between fifteen and thirty eggs and they incubate for between 55-75 days. As with most reptiles, the parents give the hatchlings no additional care. Young beardies mature between one and two years of age.
Because of their docile nature, willingness to breed in captivity, and flexible diet, they are considered good pets by many reptile enthusiasts. Before acquiring one, however, consider the costs involved. Bearded dragons require appropriate habitats, UV lights, heaters, large quantitities of food (especially when young), and trips to the vet. All these expenses can add up over the course of their ten year life span.