Bearded dragons are considered to be one of the smartest amongst all lizards and reptiles in general. Unlike snakes who are primarily driven by their survival instincts, bearded dragons can respond to stimuli and their environment based on things other than hunger or fear. By doing so they are able to show a tremendous leap in reptile intelligence than was previously believed possible. But just how smart are bearded dragons? Both scientific studies and general observation have found bearded dragons capable of recognizing their owners, imitating others, and demonstrating other sorts of learning.
They recognize other bearded dragons
Bearded dragons have been recorded acknowledging other bearded dragons either by nodding or “waving” at them. Recognition of other entities is considered to be an excellent mark of an animal’s intelligence. And this behavior isn’t just limited to other beardies. They are also known to be quite friendly to other reptiles or other household animals they regularly encounter.
They recognize their owners
One of the most widely cited proof of bearded dragon intelligence is that they can recognize their owners. This ability is believed to be the reason why bearded dragons have a propensity to be affectionate and do things like snuggling. To build a lasting bond with your beardie, it’s recommended that owners spend at least a few minutes a day showing physical interaction.
They can be shy
Conversely, bearded dragons are also aware when they’re in unfamiliar company. This can prompt them to be shy and possibly retreat. While it’s not unusual for animals to instinctively hide when they are approached, the fact the bearded dragons can exhibit comfort and familiarity is what makes this dynamic behavior so interesting. Unlike with snakes where you might never really know where you stand, bearded dragons make it clear when they have yet to be won over.
They have a good memory
In addition to being able to recall people and animals, bearded dragons can also associate them with positive or negative experiences. Many bearded dragon owners have reported using positive associations to train their lizard to perform things like coming when called or even going potty in a certain place. It also helps that beardies are very food-motivated which makes it much easier to build positive associations with specific people or actions.
They can learn by imitation
There have been several studies conducted showing how bearded dragons learn by imitation. In many of these, a group of bearded dragons was shown a task via video and were able to mimic the actions (conducted by other bearded dragons). Scientists are confident that this was no mere fluke as the tested lizard subjects followed the video behavior down the exact position of their bodies. Previously, this type of learning through mimicry was only thought to be possible by humans and advanced primates.
The intelligence of bearded dragons is just one of the aspects that makes these reptiles so beloved. To get the full experience of their quirky personalities, look for bearded dragons for sale. They’re not difficult to find and are usually available wherever reptiles are sold.