The many different behaviors of bearded dragons is one of the many qualities they possess that make them desirable pets. Some of these behaviors are often cute and can be downright comical at times.
Bearded dragons are semi-social creatures, and use many forms of behavior as a crude communication tool. Here are a few of the behaviors you may find in a captive-raised bearded dragon.
There are times when you may find your bearded dragon rapidly bobbing its head up and down. Generally this occurs when another bearded dragon is present, but not always the case. Head bobbing is a signal of a challenge, or warning, to the other bearded dragon in the area.
This typically happens when there are two males in the same area, and can lead to a duel over territory.
Usually the larger of the two will win, and the smaller will become submissive. There are instances when the two can duke it out in a fight.
Arm waving is a very common behavior in baby and juvenile bearded dragons. The bearded dragon can be backing upon a perch and all of a sudden raise a front limb and rapidly wave it above its head. This behavior can be very amusing, because it appears that the bearded dragon is waving “Hello”, or “Good-bye”.
This is generally a signal of submission. It’s the bearded dragon’s way of say, “hey, I’m friendly!”.
This is probably the most famous behavior of bearded dragons. Whenever a bearded dragon feels threatened it will hold its chin up, close its mouth, and flare out the impressive beard. Many times the threatened bearded dragon will even make a hissing sound.
The swelling beard will darken in color, and the bearded dragon will give a threatening display. This behavior is used by the bearded dragon to give the threatener the impression that it’s a very dangerous creature.
The flared beard is simply a natural defense mechanism it uses to ward off enemies and would-be predators.
Many times when more than one bearded dragon is housed in the same enclosure you will see a peculiar behavior called stacking.
Stacking is the bearded dragons will lay, one on top of the other, in a basking spot. This behavior is most common with baby bearded dragons. You will witness this often in pet stores that have many babies in one enclosure.
Although this behavior is adorable, it can be dangerous for the bearded dragons. Having a bunch of babies piled on top of each other means the ones closest to the bottom are receiving the least amount of UVB rays. It could also hamper the breathing of the bottom bearded dragon, because of the extra weight on top.
If you plan on having more than on bearded dragon in an enclosure, it is best to have ample basking space for each one to help reduce this behavior.