Old Man Marvin had a stressful day… he’s out!
These rainbow tiger bearded dragon babies are this gorgeous, and they haven’t even shed yet! They will get even brighter as they grow!
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This is a nine year old bearded dragon named Marvin. On hot days, Marvin loves to gape. Gaping is normal for beardies; it’s like a dog sticking its tongue out on hot days. Gaping helps bearded dragon regulate their body heat. When a bearded dragon is gaping, his breathing should remain normal. If a bearded dragon breathing is heavy and/or labored, this could be a sign of a respiratory infection, and the beardie needs help immediately.
When a bearded dragon is gaping, it is a good time to inspect the inside of a bearded dragon’s mouth. Look for a health bright pink coloring. A pale mouth can be a sigh of anemia. Look for sores that may be causing pain, swelling, mouth rot, discolorations, or any other abnormalities. Marvin has a healthy looking mouth especially for an older bearded dragon.
When a female bearded dragon is ready to lay her eggs, she usually start digging a lot in her enclosure. This is when it is time to set-up a suitable and comfortable place for her to lay her eggs. Mix clean topsoil and sand together in a large container and moisten with water. She needs a depth of at least one foot of soil to dig in. Pat down the soil to make the top layer firm, and you may want to start a hole for her. Make sure the mixture is to her liking. The soil should be easy for her to dig in but rigid enough to ensure her cave will not collapse on her. You may need to adjust the soil mixture several times before she starts digging. Leave her alone and check on her about every ten minutes or so. When you see her digging on her own, she is ready to lay her eggs. Beardies appreciate some privacy at this time. When her cave is complete, she will back into it and lay her eggs. It should take less than an hour for her to lay her eggs, and when she is done she will cover the eggs and cave. Remove her from the container and gently dig out the eggs and place them in an incubator. Bearded dragons typically lay 15-30 eggs per clutch. If the eggs are fertilized, they will be firm, with no dents, more white and larger than unfertilized eggs. You should also be able to see small red blood vessels inside fertilized eggs if you hold them up to candlelight. Some females may lay a few unfertilized eggs in a clutch of mostly fertilized eggs especially if it is the female’s first clutch. Unfertilized eggs are smaller usually dented and more yellow.
Father on the right and son on the left, Megatron and Melvin. They look nearly identical except Megatron is still slightly larger and has a bit more red coloring. Supervised bath time is the only time these two males get near each other. They normally can’t even be kept in the same room. When they were in the same room, they would run up against or charge the glass trying to attack each other (causing a scar and scab on their chin), try to hide sometimes, and they were stressed they even ate less. Two males should never be kept together in the same enclosure and even keeping two males in the same room where they can see each other can stress them out. Males who are fighting show similar behavior to mating; the dominant male tries to get on-top of the other male and push him to the ground. They may also wiggle and/or wack their tails, bite each other, hiss, and turn their beard and bellies black.
A male’s beard may turn black in the presence of another bearded dragon. Black coloring under the chin is a sign the bearded dragon is upset, stressed out, in the presence of another beardie, or sick.
Father on left and Son on right:
Beardies enjoy a bath from time to time. They tend to show their best color when in warm water. Megatron especially appreciates baths when he is shedding.
Firestar’s tail curls up in the air when she is put into water.
This male’s beard and the flaps above his shoulder turn black as he gets excited to see a female. Males can also turn their bellies black when very excited.
Female bearded dragons can also turn their beards black when excited, upset, startled, or frightened.
Megatron has a black beard and does head bobs in the water when he takes a bath with Firestar.
This female puffs up, turns her beard black, and does slow push-ups when she see this male.