Bearded dragons are renown for their ability to puff out their beards or spines and make themselves look much larger than they actually are.
This is their way of scaring off potential predators who look like they are going to attack them.
It is a defense mechanism which helps them.
However, another thing they can do is to flatten their stomach’s.
It makes them look like they’ve flattened themselves out and it is one of the strange things that bearded dragons do.
So why does my bearded dragon flatten out?
There are three reasons they flatten themselves out.
1. They are trying to regulate their temperature
Beaded dragons will flatten themselves out to keep their body regulated in hot climates.
They do this to warm up and will flatten themselves on a rock or hard surface.
In captivity, they will do this on their basking rock taking in the rays of the uv lamp to keep themselves at the right temperature.
If they are not warm enough, they will not be able to digest the food that is in their stomach’s as they digestive system is dependent on being at the right temperature.
2. It is a defense mechanism.
When a bearded dragon believes it is in danger, they will flatten their stomach instinctively.
Just like flaring up their beard’s or spines, this posture gives the impression of them being much larger and much stronger than they actually are.
They will display this to a predator.
However, instead of intending to invite conflict, they will do this to avoid it.
They are doing this because something has scared them and they are looking to protect themselves.
3. They are not feeling good
A bearded dragon can also flatten their belly and lie flat on the ground if they are sick and haven’t got the energy to move.
If you don’t seen your bearded dragon moving and they generally very listless, then it is time to consult a veterinary surgeon to get them checked out.
So why does my bearded dragon puff up?
When they are threatened by another bearded dragon they will puff up their beard and it will gradually change to a darker colour.
They will also opt their mouths as a sign that they are ready to bite.
They will also flatten their body and may jump sideways.
Why does my bearded dragon sleep alot?
A common reason why a bearded dragon sleeps alot is because of brumation.
When bearded dragons brumate, it is their body voluntarily slowing down and their motabilism coming to a near standstill. This enables them to not eat and drink anything for long periods of time without losing weight and keeping their overall health.
It is an instinct that they have, even when they are in captivity
There are certain times in a year when temperatures drop and food.
So when you find that your bearded dragon is sleeping a great deal, this is often the reason why.
Bloat in bearded dragons is quite a common ailment which can caused them problems.
So why does my bearded dragon look bloated?
There are several reasons why a bearded dragon looks bloated.
- They could have mites
- They could be pregnant.
- They could have impaction.
A strange quirk of the character and nature of bearded dragons is that they can do perculiar things with the bristly spines which are underneath their throats and around their eyes. They can turn them black at various times.
This ability to turn their throat spines and other areas of their bodies black has bewildered people for generations.
So why does my bearded dragon turn black in these areas?
This blackening of their throat spines and around their eyes can mean one of a few things.
Here are 4 occasions where you may see your bearded dragon turning areas of their body black.
1. During courtship
This happens with male dragons during mating with a female.
Their throat spines will blacken during courtship to warn other males away.
When this happens, this may be accompanied by a slapping of the hand on the ground and a bobbing of the head.
This will indicate arousal.
If the female is ready to do the same, they will wave their arm to indicate that they are ready do to so.
2. They are in distress
They may also do this when they are in distress.
Sometimes, a bearded dragon will have their throat spines turn black when they have an illness or are stressed.
Other parts of their body may turn black as well during this time as a way of getting the message across.
3. The want to play
Another time when this may happen is when they want to attract the attention of an owner to come out and play.
This has been noted by owners previously and can cause confusion.
But really they just want to come out and enjoy themselves.
Before making a judgement on this, note their demeanor and state of being.
4. They are being territorial
Lastly, male beardies are quite territorial.
When they are like this, their throat spines will blacken so as to indicate their authority over the others in their group such as smaller males and females.
They may also bob their heads during this ritual.
By blackening their throat spines or beard, they are saying ‘keep away’.
The reason a bearded dragon turns black
So in summary, the reason this happens is the bearded dragon trying to communicate to those around them.
It is a very unique way of communicating to either their fellow dragons or us as owners.
It is an unusual method of communication to ensure their needs are met.
Pay attention to them, its your bearded dragon talking to you in an amazing way when they turn parts of their body black.
A common action that you may find your bearded dragon doing is waving to you.
This is pretty weird but very cute all the same.
So why does my bearded dragon wave at me?
This seems to be a form of communication that beardies commonly do.
A common belief is that dragons wave their arm as a passive message to indicate when a more dominant or larger dragon is nearby.
It indicates that they are submitting to them.
So when your beardie waves to you, it is basically them saying to you that you are far bigger than them and that they won’t attempt to fight you.
It is them submitting to you.
Take it as a compliment 🙂
Oak leaves are found in salad medlies often with lettuces such as Lollo Rosso (slightly nutty), Lollo Biondi (mild and tender) and Red Oak Leaf (mild and sweet) are grown tightly together in one root ball.
They are often then cut and sold as a three headed lettuce. (source)
So can bearded dragons eat oak leaves?
Yes they can eat oak leaves.
But make sure they don’t eat too much as it will give them bloat if they eat too much.
Just one leaf should suffice for them at any one time so as not to cause them any trouble. They will enjoy them.