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CENTRAL BEARDED DRAGON TAXIDERMY

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Complete Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Agamidae

Subfamily: Amphibolurinae

Genus: Pogona

Species: Pogona Vitticeps

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BEARDED DRAGONS

Bearded dragons are called "bearded" because the spikes and scales they have around their head resembles a beard. They use this as a defense mechanism and will expand their throat whenever they feel threatened.

The bearded dragon's scientific name is Pogona Vitticeps and they are medium sized lizards which are generally 12-24 inches in length from their head to the tip of their tail. There are many different bearded dragon colors which sometimes can help tell you what environment they came from. Heads - The bearded dragon's head is triangular shaped and contains rows of spikes that resemble thorns. Beneath their head, the bearded dragon will have rows of spiked scales which when puffed up resembles a beard. These scales can also change colors, turning darker, when breeding. Body - The bearded dragon is supported by four stout legs and they have well-muscled flat bodies with a row of spikes that runs down each side of the abdomen. Their tail is generally half the length of their body, and unlike other lizards will not fall off and regenerate when threatened.

Bearded dragons are only naturally found in Australia's desert regions. Generally they are found in the southeastern Northern Territory and the eastern half of South Australia. Their habitats included woodlands, savannahs, and deserts. It is not uncommon to find them basking in branches, on stumps, or rocks during the morning there.

Australia made it illegal to export any wildlife in the 1960's. It is believed that all the bearded dragons found outside of Australia were smuggled out of the country from the 1970's to the early 1990's. The general population of bearded dragons in the United States is so large now that it is unnecessary to import any more, since they can easily be bred.

Bearded dragons were first introduced to the United States in the 1990's and since then they have rapidly increased in popularity as pets. So why are bearded dragons loved as pets? Bearded dragons are usually gentle by nature and you rarely hear of an aggressive bearded dragon, especially towards humans. In fact, bearded dragons do not attack when threatened, instead they freeze, puff their throat, and may change colors. They are easy to maintain as well. They don't require walks and following a basic routine can be more than enough care for a bearded dragon to live into it's teens. On top of this they enjoy being handled and stroked by people. They may squirm the first few times you hold them, but they will eventually recognize their master and will sit, relax, and perch on a person's body.

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