Many people get involved in Geocaching because they enjoy the adventurous fun of participating in a global activity best described as a combination of hide-and-seek and treasure hunting. Geocaching offers an opportunity to connect with other people from all around the world through the seeking, finding, and examining- and even sometimes trading or contributing- of items and artifacts that have cultural or personal significance.
One of the joys of the Geocaching experience is that it allows you to discover treasures beyond those that are tucked into caches, many of which are found through exploring new landscapes and the interesting things that grow and live within them. Another joy is that it is often a shared experience, an opportunity to work together with family and friends on a real-life treasure hunt, bringing people together in a new environment, sharing in the exciting adventure of discovery.
It is not surprising that many people report having a feeling of “falling in love” when on their Geocaching expedition. Sometimes literally! I read an account about a couple who went searching for a cache together on their first date, and they ended up falling in love with each other. Isn’t that the sweetest thing? Talk about a great story to share with the someday-grand kids! Definitely scrapbook worthy.
The same thing happened to me, but it was not a Geocaching date that I fell in love with- or even a human at all, actually- but a species: Baby Beardies.
If you are not familiar with that term, you are probably scratching your head and asking, “Baby Whats?” That’s okay. And don’t worry, I am not referring to something like facial hair on infants. I am referring to infant dragons.
Okay, maybe that didn’t help. If you’re still scratching your head, asking, “dragons?,” wondering if my Geocaching led me to a wormhole that dropped me down in the middle of Middle Earth or Westeros, please let me assure you that was not the case. I stayed right here on our beautiful, modern Earth, on the magnificent continent of Australia, the natural habitat of a species of reptile that are called bearded dragons.
If you’re familiar with baby bearded dragons, then you already get it- you already know why my heart was captured by them. How could it not be? And you are so going to love all of the information on this site. Well, let’s be honest… even if you’re not familiar with bearded dragons yet, you very soon will be, and you are also going to love what we offer here about these fascinating, friendly, and oh-so-very-cute creatures.
Let’s cover the basics first, starting with the science-y and biology part of things:
As mentioned, bearded dragons are reptiles (or Reptilia), one of the five most well-known classes of vertebrate animals (meaning they have backbones), distinguished by the fact that they breathe air and are cold-blooded (though warm-hearted!). They fall under the taxonomic order of Squamata (because they have a skull with two eye sockets) and into the family of Agamidae (in other words, lizards) and genus of Pogona. If you want to call them by their formal name, they should be addressed as Pogona Vitticeps.
That was a mouthful, I know! Don’t worry, there won’t be a test later. Now, on to the more fun stuff- basic, interesting bearded baby dragon facts to help you know more about these adorable little critters.
Oh wait, did I already mention that? Don’t believe me? Look at this:
So much cuteness, right?
They’re as friendly as they look.
It’s not just an act. They are even-tempered and responsive, and as long as you hold them correctly, they don’t mind being handled. Though make sure you wash your hands carefully after bonding with your beardie, as they do, like all reptiles, carry salmonella bacteria.
They keep a good schedule.
Unlike many lizards, who are nocturnal night owls, bearded dragons are diurnal and keep the same schedule as most people: up and about during the day, taking their downtime at night. If you’ve ever had a nocturnal pet, like a gerbil, you know that their nighttime antics can get old quick!
Just like merry vacationers at a summer beach resort, bearded dragons like to soak up sunshine. Or more accurately, ultraviolet (UV) light. In fact, they need it. Not because they want to maintain a tan, but because they need vitamin D to absorb nutrients from their food and stay healthy and strong.
They eat worms.
Not only worms, of course! They like crickets, too. And even roaches- I know, ewww! But they also like fruit and veggies. In fact, as omnivores, they will eat a wide variety of foods, just like you do. They like to stick with insects as their protein source, though, so there’s no need to throw a streak on the grill for them.
They DO have beards. Kind of.
While it’s not made of hair, beardies do have something like a beard- a collection of skin folds under their necks that are covered in spiny projections that resemble hair. They puff them out when they feel threatened, making themselves look larger. Even more, they change color. When they’re super-stressed, their beards will turn black.
Okay, I know I’ve already said that, but it bears repeating. Take another look:
Are you in love with them yet, too? Of course you are! How could you not be? So, now you’re going to want to know more, like how many types of beardies there are, how to interact and care for them, what sort of habitat bearded dragons need- all of that fun and useful information.
Your best place to start in learning more is “Types of Baby Bearded Dragon” that is best for you.