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Beardie anatomy

cheerful beardie!

Bearded dragons are 4 legged, spine-covered with a rounded body that lies close to the ground. Their sandy colouration offers them excellent camouflage when in the wild.

Limbs: Bearded dragons have 4 legs with 5 clawed toes on each of their feet. The front claws are used to gain purchase on objects they wish to climb while the back claws are used to dig in to the object and support their bodies.

Tail: All bearded dragons have a moderately sized tail that is very thick at the base and tapers away gradually towards the tip. Unlike some lizards bearded dragons cannot shed their tails to avoid capture by predators but they can adapt very well if they lose part of their tail in an accident or fight.

Circulatory system: Like most reptiles, Bearded dragons have 3-chambered hearts. This allows them to change the pattern of blood flow within the head and body to help them control their teperature.

Digestive system: The digestive system of bearded dragons starts with their teeth. Unlike many herbivorous reptiles, beardfed dragons chew their food to aid in its digestion. In the stomach and intestines the food is more thoroughly digested through a process of microbial degredation (a form of fermentation). The intestines end with an all pupose cavity called the cloaca. This terminates with the anal opening through which waste products are discharged. The cloaca is not only for storage of waste products but for the passage of eggs in females during reproduction.

Skin: The skin of the bearded dragon is rough. It is covered in many small spines. Bearded dragons can change the colour of their skin in order to absorb more or less sunlight to help them thermoregulate. To aid this they can also flare out their mid sections to offer the largest possible surface area for the absorbtion of the suns rays.

Senses: Bearded dragons have eyes, ears and noses the same as most animals but they also have a jocobsons organ in the roof of their mouths which acts like a cross between taste and smell. They can also detect the vibrations indicating the presence of large predators by holding their bodies close to the ground.