Bearded Dragons

Just to follow up on my last post, here are some facts about Bearded Dragon lizards.

These are members of the scientific family Pogona. All eight species are native to the deserts and dry forests of Australia. Like many lizards, they are quadrupedal with low bodies and broad, triangular heads. Males can grow to two feet in length and females are slightly smaller. The scales are shades of buff, tan and gray, with short spikes along the back, behind the head and under the throat. The spikes can be raised to deter rivals or predators.

Bearded Dragons communicate among themselves in interesting ways. The “beard” under the throat can puff up and turn black, a display to intimidate other Bearded Dragons or to woo females. This behavior is what gives them their name. They also bob their heads to express dominance and slowly wave one paw to show submission.

In their natural habitat, Bearded Dragons are equally comfortable on the ground or climbing rocks and trees. Young feed mostly in insects and switch over to vegetation as they grow older. Due to the arid surroundings, Bearded Dragons are most active at dusk and dawn. They are cold-blooded and must bask or seek shade in order to control their body temperature.

Under Australian law, traffic in wildlife for pets has been forbidden since the 1960s. Nevertheless, Bearded Dragons have become popular pets. They are smaller than other lizards, such as iguanas, and tolerate a lot of handling, especially from children. Indeed, I once knew a teacher who occasionally brought her Bearded Dragon with her to school, much to the delight of the students.

Fortunately, there are enough captive bred lizards to satisfy the demand for pets. Bearded Dragons continue to thrive in the wilds of Australia and no varieties are endangered as of this writing.

Here’s a true story from the news of my region.

Sherrie Baldwin, of Salem, OR, is a reptile devotee who made the news after she gave her pet Bearded Dragon mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She had found the lizard floating in water in its cage. The incident gained national attention, and Baldwin enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame.

Unfortunately, her landlord was disturbed to learn that Baldwin had been rescuing Bearded Dragons from the area and keeping them in her trailer. She had as many as 24 Bearded Dragons on site. However, the rental contract did not allow reptiles as pets. As reported by the Salem Statesman Journal, Baldwin had to find new homes or face eviction.

When news of her dilemma spread, the public responded with a remarkable outpouring of support. Hopeful Bearded Dragon owners contacted Baldwin from as far away as New York and Dallas. As of Friday, October 17th, all but a few lizards had been surrendered to new owners at no charge, simply on the promise that they would be well cared for and some under veterinary care would continue to receive medication.

The next step is for a local church group to help Baldwin with cleanup required by her landlord. Let’s hope they honor her efforts and allow her to remain in her home.

Dragon Encounters 7


This dragon is a little harder to see, but it’s my favorite of the recent batch. It’s a bamboo chime with a toy dragon perched on top. The dragon is carved of wood and articulated so its head bobs and wings flap as the wind touches it. We spotted it in a gift shop in Sandpoint, ID.

My photo doesn’t capture its full cuteness!

Dragon Encounters 6

Here are two more dragons I encountered in the real world. On beer labels, no less! These were on a shelf at Pour Authority in Sandpoint, ID.

Just yesterday, a spotted another dragon on the six-pack carton of Dragon’s Breath beer from Bayern Brewery in Missoula, MT. I’m not a beer drinker, but I snagged that for my husband.

Is there a thing about dragons and beer that I didn’t know about?

Dragon Encounters 5

I’ve been spotting lots of dragons lately! This is one of a pair that guards the entrance to the Spokane Bangkok Thai Restaurant, in the Riverwalk area. It is about 4 feet tall, with a metallic look, but I suspect it’s actually resin.

If, Part 5

Can you stand one more? If a dragon wrote the book…

A rare white sea dragon wishes only to roam the waves in peace, but an obsessed ship’s captain just won’t leave him alone. After resentless pursuit, the dragon is finally forced to take a stand in self defense.

…Which novel is it?

By the way, the answer to last Tuesday’s puzzle is Yu-Gi-Oh! But Pok√©mon was a very good guess.

Also, I received this notice from the Cricket Magazine Group. “Our upcoming issues of Spider and Ask both feature dragons. Dragons have been included in fictional literature for centuries and many different cultures have their own version of dragons. Ask, the magazine about science, history, inventors, and more, asks what it would take to make a real dragon. Spider, filled with fun stories, poems, and activities, tells the tale of a little girl who finds a dragon. Could dragons have actually existed? Read both sides and decide for yourself!”

This is a topic I’ve covered myself, so check them out at www.cricketmag.com.

Last but not least, I’m thrilled to relate that I’ve finished the edits on Masters of Air & Fire, the middle grade fantasy that I podcast in 2012. Hope the editor likes what I’ve done with it, because I need to get started on my next edits, for the gothic werewolf novel The Grimhold Wolf.

If, Part 4

If a dragon wrote the tv show…

Dragons and other “monsters” are caught up in a nightmare after their souls are bonded to enchanted playing cards. These helpless pawns are forced to battle, over and over, in bizarre arenas by their human masters who enslaved them. And they claim to trust their “cards.”

… Which TV show is it?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 170 other followers