Bearded dragons are native to central Australia and are very popular as pets. The name “bearded” refers to a large throat pouch that extends outward and looks like a spiny beard. Some species display this beard as a defense mechanism or to assert dominance. There are several closely-related species of bearded dragons, some of which have attractive color patterns. Pogona vitticeps is the most common species in the pet trade.
In the wild, bearded dragons are semi-arboreal and occupy various habitats ranging from deserts to dry forests. They are diurnal, normally foraging in the early morning and late afternoon, and resting under shelter during mid-day.
Domesticated bearded dragons typically live 5 to 15 years, weigh 10 to 18 ounces, and grow to 12 to 18 inches in length.