Charlie, you never liked the Bearded Dragons.
I remember when we bought the terrarium for Mr. Frog.
I suggested that you could use it for a Bearded Dragon when you tired of Mr. Frog.
You said, “I wouldn’t touch one of those things!”
And you were as good as your word!
But, I want to share some simple facts that I’ve learned about Dragons.
They have spines on the undersides of their jaws and along their sides.
The spines cover the loose skin under their chins.
The baggy skin is called a guttural pouch that they inflate to appear larger
when they are threatened. Big Lucy is practicing in this photograph.
The guttural pouch turns dark, almost black, during mating season.
Dragons have scales and large pads on their feet to protect them from hot surfaces like rocks and sand.
Their strong nails allow them to grasp tree bark for climbing
and to burrow underground to escape the heat.
The females burrow underground to lay their eggs, too.
(Big Lucy’s nails have been clipped in this photo)
The Dragons’ scales also protect them from radiant heat.
The ability to raise their bodies off the surface helps them to regulate heat absorption
and also allows air to circulate underneath their bodies to cool them.
They also have short, powerful legs that allow them to climb to escape predators
and to find good basking spots on trees and logs.
Dragons open their mouths when they are too warm.
This behavior is called gaping.
The water from their saliva evaporates and helps to cool them.
Basking (baking in the sun) provides absorption of heat that activates cells and enzymes
That is necessary for activity and food digestion.
In the photo above, Little Lucy is happy and comfortable and doesn’t want to move,
but she is getting too hot, so she starts to gape in order to cool herself a bit.
Often, I brought exotic animals home with me simply because I liked them.
Usually, I was armed with only minimal information about their care.
However, I never assumed responsibility for an animal
unless I was certain that I had the ability to learn how to care of him
And the time and the resources to do it.
Exotic animals are not domesticated like dogs and cats.
Remember that when you see a cute exotic animal and are tempted to buy him.
All of the exotic animals with whom I have lived have brought
endless pleasure and joy into my life.
(Good grief! I’m surprised she didn’t blab about that embarrassing case of worms I had!)
But, enough about me!
I’ll get back to you when my nails dry…