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 Post subject: Some Common Behaviours
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:16 pm 
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I commonly get asked if it's "normal" for a beardie to be doing something - usually head-bobbing or arm-waving. I put this together with a couple of videos that will hopefully explain a little about why they do some of the things they do, and show what to look out for...

Head Bobbing:

Head Bobbing is generally used to indicate dominance or aggression. It is often accompanied by a darkening and flaring of the beard. Whilst both males and females may head bob, it is the males who show it most often. Bearded Dragons don't usually head bob until they are 6 months or more in age, but may occasionally do it before then.

During the breeding season, males will head bob at females and at each other. This video shows one of our males head bobbing (requires enabled ActiveX). Notice the darkening of his beard and chest area.

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Arm Waving:

Arm Waving is a sign of submission. Females usually wave their arms to signal submission during the breeding season. A failure to submit to a head bobbing male may be seen as a challenge, and could lead to a fight. Females will also arm wave to each other to establish hierarchies. Males may also occasionally arm wave, particularly if they are not yet fully grown. It is believed that arm waving by juveniles is to prevent them from being attacked by overly-territorial males.

Arm waving begins at birth - young babies arm wave at each other, their owners, other pets, and occasionally their food! This video shows one of our females arm waving in response the head bob shown above (requires enabled ActiveX).

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"Press-ups":

Submissive Dragons will often perform what look like press-ups to acknowledge a dominant male. This is normally in conjunction with Arm Waving. Sometimes these will be full "dips", other times it can be a couple of quick, shallow nods of the head.



Beard Flaring:

Dragons may flare their beard as a display of dominance, as a defensive reaction, or to attempt to stretch the skin there during shedding.

Dominant flaring is often accompanied by Head Bobbing.

Defensive Flaring may be accompanied by Hissing, Mouth-Gaping, Lunging at the threat, and widening/swelling of the body.


Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Great videos - thanks!

Just a couple of times I have seen Shrek do a perculiar arm wave (at 18 months of age!). He waved one arm, then the other, and continue to do this with alternate arms a few times. I'm not at all sure why! Any ideas?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:09 pm 
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Webmaster wrote:Great videos - thanks!

Just a couple of times I have seen Shrek do a perculiar arm wave (at 18 months of age!). He waved one arm, then the other, and continue to do this with alternate arms a few times. I'm not at all sure why! Any ideas?


I don't know why they would alternate arms, but I've seen a couple of mine do it - both males and females... It happens far less frequently than the single wave, so it's hard to pin down what it's in response to, simply because there aren't enough examples of it happening. It's also strange in that both males and females do it - it may not be submission-related after all - it could be a greeting / acknowledgement. Did Shrek do it to Fiona? Did he show any kind of dominance (black-bearding / flaring etc) afterwards?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:46 am 
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Shrek did do it to Fiona - he certianly didn't head bob or display his beard, if anything he was looking kinda of submissive! I've only seen it a couple of times.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:48 pm 
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That's interesting to know!

As you may have seen on RFUK, Blaze and Voodoo are pretty much at their breeding weights, so will be introduced to Hades in the next couple of months. Spyro is going to moving in with Lizzie again in about 4 weeks time, so I will keep my eyes open to see if there is any behaviour like that from Spyro or Hades...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:59 pm 
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They are such interesting creatures, aren't they?

I doubt if we'll ever know what all their communications mean. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:00 pm 
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They also appear to be intellegent as well. Bob has very quickly learnt the difference between our 2 cats, although they are almost identical, 1 has a white nose the other a black nose. He is fine with 1 cat and they spend a lot of time looking at each other. The other cat he puffs his beard out at and lowers himself to the ground so that he is flat? Is this normal :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:32 am 
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Webmaster wrote:Just a couple of times I have seen Shrek do a perculiar arm wave (at 18 months of age!). He waved one arm, then the other, and continue to do this with alternate arms a few times. I'm not at all sure why! Any ideas?


May be his left hand was trying to get to know his right hand.

There are some people at work that need to do that! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:09 am 
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I cant wait till PennyWise starts head bobbing, thats going to be a treat to watch :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:16 pm 
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why do they go black on there beard? My male does all the time if i take him downstairs in my sitting room and let him roam around, he will go really dark black on his beard. But if i let him road around in any other room he stays his normal colour, why is he doing this?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:32 pm 
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have you got any mirrors or glass in your sitting room? Could be he can see his reflection and thinks it's another beardie. Blackening the beard is as far as I know a reaction to a threat or dominant behaviour.

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Bearded Dragon: Fiona
R.I.P Shrek and Stumpy - you are sadly missed.

For articles and useful information about how to care for Bearded Dragons visit the main site: http://www.mybeardeddragons.co.uk


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:01 am 
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no there arent any mirrors in my sitting room. Strange why hes doing it. The female just sits and roams about in the sitting room without going black


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 3:53 am 
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my bearded dragon doesent eat much and she just chases the crickets
and arm waves at them ans if she were riding a surf board
is there something wrong with how im caring for her or something
i have every thing correct in the vivarium like heat an all that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 6:24 am 
ryan wrote:my bearded dragon doesent eat much and she just chases the crickets
and arm waves at them ans if she were riding a surf board
is there something wrong with how im caring for her or something
i have every thing correct in the vivarium like heat an all that.


How old is she? Sometimes younger beardies will be submissive to the crickets, or baby beardies will wave at each other as if saying "Hey, I'm a beardie! Are you?", which is usually returned with more waving.

If your beardie is young then that's probably what she's doing.
No worries, nothing's wrong with her. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:54 pm 
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My dragons about 7-8 weeks and ive seen him doing the arm wave with a cricket infront of him before pouncing on it :D


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