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Getting to Know the Leatherback Bearded Dragon as an Ideal Pet

A leatherback bearded dragon is among the eight different kinds of bearded dragons. Discover more about what makes this lizard ideal to keep as a pet here.

The leatherback bearded dragon is a unique specie. We gathered that this lizard is among the preferred options of prospective bearded dragon owners to keep as a pet at home.   

Furthermore, the leatherback bearded dragon stands out among the rest because of its genetic makeup. In this article, we want to enlighten bearded dragon keepers and interested buyers about leatherback bearded dragons. 

Although we know that these reptile pets’ fans are well aware that bearded dragons have similarities with one another in terms of physical features and genus or family, we want to shed light on what makes leatherback bearded dragons unique and worth keeping as domesticated animals at home.

In this article, we will also inform potential bearded dragon owners about the nature of leatherback bearded dragons, what makes them ideal as domesticated reptiles kept as pets for companionship, and some useful care tips.

1. Fundamental Facts about Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are wild animals native to Australia. There are eight different kinds of them, and they all belong to the Pogona genus or animal family.

Furthermore, bearded dragons come in different appearances. They vary in size, color, and behavior. 

In terms of dimension, bearded dragons are approximately 16 to 20 inches or 40.6 to 50.8 centimeters long. The most common bearded dragon hues are red, tan, olive green, and yellow.

These reptiles have long tails, wide and flat bodies, and triangular heads. Moreover, a bearded dragon’s body, head, and neck feature rows of spikes along them.

These lizards often flare the skin on their throats which makes them look bearded. This feature is also how the bearded dragon got its name.

In terms of lifespan, bearded dragons usually live for roughly one decade. They are generally docile by nature and demonstrate an interest in human attention. 

The following are the eight types of bearded dragon species in the wild:

1. Pogona barbata or the eastern bearded dragon;

2. Pogona henrylawsoni or Rankin’s bearded dragon;

3. Pogona microlepidota or Kimberley bearded dragon;

4. Pogona minor minor or the dwarf bearded dragon;

5. Pogona minor minima or the western bearded dragon;

6. Pogona minor mitchelli or the northwest bearded dragon;

7. Pogona nullarbor or the Nullarbor bearded dragon; and 

8. Pogona vitticeps or the central bearded dragon

Additionally, bearded dragons are categorized based on their bodies’ colors, which are the following:

1. Albino bearded dragon;

2. Black bearded dragon morphs;

3. Leatherback bearded dragon;

4. Orange, citrus, or tangerine bearded dragon;

5. Paradox bearded dragon;

6. Red, ruby red, sandfire red, or bloody red bearded dragon morphs;

7. Translucent bearded dragon;

8. White bearded dragon; and 

9. Yellow, sunburst, or citrus bearded dragon morphs

The most common kind of bearded dragon and pet lizard in the entire reptile pet industry is the central bearded dragon. Its scientific name is Pogona vitticeps

The central bearded dragon is also the most popular and among the four out of the eight species kept as pets at home. This reptile pet is well-known for being sturdy, calm, and having a long lifespan. 

Similar to other bearded dragons, the central bearded dragon is most active during daylight hours. These bearded dragons are the ideal choice to keep at home due to their wide availability in the market.

Central bearded dragons have other names, which are “yellow-headed bearded dragon” and “inland bearded dragon.” Besides the central bearded dragon, the leatherback bearded dragon often makes a favorable pet to keep at home as a companion to its owner. These reptiles are exceptional and easily bred in captivity.

2. Tracing the Leatherback Bearded Dragon’s Roots

A leatherback bearded dragon is a morph of a kind of lizard, which is the bearded dragon. It is a product of selective breeding. 

Furthermore, leatherback bearded dragons are mainly considered as products of the pet trade, though reptile specialists believe it is possible they exist in the wild. These lizards are sometimes called “Italian smoothies.” 

According to the information on Allthingsnature.org, this name is due to the first leatherback bearded dragon discovered by a breeder in Italy. Since its discovery, this reptile has become a popular pet choice in various parts of the globe. 

Moreover, in the United States, there is an additional smoothie variation. This leatherback bearded dragon appears to be the same morph simply under a different name, though it might have slightly thicker scales. 

Additionally, these lizards are generally yellowish or tan in color. Nevertheless, they can be bred with other bearded dragon color morphs to produce a variety of color combinations. 

3. Understanding the Leatherback Bearded Dragon’s Basic Nature

We find many interested leatherback bearded dragon owners curious about these reptile pets’ physical appearance. First of all, we want to inform these pet keepers that there is little chance of getting a wild-caught leatherback bearded dragon. 

Herpetologists are zoologists or animal scientists who study amphibians and reptiles, including frogs, salamanders, and bearded dragons. They concentrate on the conservation of these animals. 

Herpetologists mate bearded dragon morphs to produce a variety of colors and patterns. Today, there are more than 20 morphs.

With respect to leatherback bearded dragons, they are a great example of scalation morphs or mutations specifically bred by enthusiasts. These reptile pets are bred from heterozygous genes.

Moreover, leatherback bearded dragons feature smooth scales which are highly visible under daytime light. They do not have any ridges or spikes along their limbs or backs.

Pet keepers of these lizards understand that the only spikes they have are along both sides of their physiques. With these unique attributes, leatherback bearded dragons’ colors look more vivid and enhance their blue, yellow, and red hues.

Plus, when touching leatherback bearded dragons, pet owners will usually find them without the other morphs’ bump friction. Hence, these lizards feel smoother compared to the other kinds of bearded dragons.

4. Explaining the Leatherback Bearded Dragon’s Genetics

We understand that new leatherback bearded dragon owners want to know more about what makes their pet special. After all, these reptiles are different from the other types, including in their spikes and scales’ amount, position, and size.

The leatherback bearded dragon is relatively scarce, unlike the hypo-melanistic and classic bearded dragons. Therefore, they are popular among reptile collectors, enthusiasts, and breeders.

Moreover, breeding leatherback bearded dragons are for professionals. This morph is the outcome of a mutated gene involved in scale development. 

As a heterozygous mutation, merely one of the two alleles in the gene for scale production carries the mutation. The mutation inhibits the correct scale growth during embryonic development, leaving the leatherback bearded dragons with smoother and tinier scales in their bodies. 

Additionally, these reptile pets’ colorings are typically brighter besides their leathery feel. They are much smoother and less spiky in their appearance, and the smaller scales lead to enhancements in their patterns and colors.

5. 4 Essential Tips for Taking Care of Leatherback Bearded Dragons

Leatherback bearded dragons feature mutated genes that prevent their scales from fully growing. This extraordinary attribute gives them a unique look and smoother skin, unlike the other bearded dragons.

We want to provide the following care tips to new and experienced owners of leatherback bearded dragons. We believe these guidelines can help them raise their reptile pets in a healthy manner:

1. Feed the leatherback bearded dragon with healthy and nutritious foods.

Leatherback bearded dragon morphs are omnivorous. We highly recommend supplying them with a variety of green leafy vegetables.

Moreover, leatherback bearded dragons can stay healthy with a regular supply of multivitamin supplements and nutriments such as pinkie mice, earthworms, and insects like grasshoppers. Using feeders when dispensing food can simulate these lizards’ natural feeding behavior, and this practice is highly recommended. 

2. Place the reptile pet in an artificial habitat that mimics its natural home in the wild.

Keeping leatherback bearded dragons at home is similar to taking care of the most common bearded dragon kept as a pet, which is the central bearded dragon. It involves copying these animals’ lifestyles in the wild.

In captivity, a leatherback bearded dragon can thrive if it is given a tank as a home. This living space should be capable of holding 55 to 60 gallons or 208 to 227 liters. The unique bearded dragon can also live well if the tank comes with sand or reptile carpet. 

3. Ensure that the reptile pet gets full-spectrum lighting.

Leatherback bearded dragons can keep their wellness if their living space comes with a general daytime temperature kept at 78 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit or 25.5 to 31 degrees Celsius. 

However, the temperature might fall to nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius during night time. Thus, we advise leatherback bearded dragon keepers to monitor their pets regularly.

4. Supply the bearded dragon with a warm basking area.

Through the use of a basking lamp, leatherback bearded dragons can thrive well in captivity, which is their artificial habitat in their owner’s residence. 

The recommended temperature in the tank is about 35 to 37.7 degrees Celsius or approximately 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Following these useful care tips can help a leatherback bearded dragon stay healthy and satisfied in its terrarium and enable it to live long.

Final Thoughts: Why Bearded Dragons Are Worth Keeping as Companions at Home

Bearded dragons, like the leatherback bearded dragons, are a great option for pet keepers who want something outside of the norm. We understand that some animal or pet lovers desire something unusual.

After all, they may have kept the conventional animal companions for a long time, such as dogs and cats. Hence, this time, they may want something different. 

With bearded dragons, we believe pet owners and animal lovers can experience something unique and unusual. These reptiles are suitable for their very nature of being extraordinary. 

Bearded dragons may have docile tempers. However, we want to inform prospective owners that these animals are actually engaging and active.

Besides, healthy bearded dragons will naturally demonstrate curiosity in their environment. We guarantee that pet keepers will not always feel clueless if they decide to have this reptile pet as a companion.

Bearded dragons usually take care to let their owners know what they are thinking or feeling. Thus, pet keepers will easily understand and rarely have to guess if their domesticated lizard is feeling eager, terrified, or annoyed. 

Furthermore, bearded dragons are the ideal hypoallergenic starter pet to animal lovers who can give the appropriate resources. Keeping these domesticated lizards at home is similar to getting a dog’s charm and none of the shedding. 

Choosing bearded dragons as pets even lets pet owners select the breed which they think suits them best. We highly recommend bearded dragons, including leatherback bearded dragons, for prospective pet keepers seeking to form emotional bonds with their animal companions.

After all, unlike turtles or snakes, bearded dragons can become emotionally attached to those who are caring and treat them with kindness. Many bearded dragons are easy to care for as owners can feed them by hand. 

Plus, many of these reptile pets relish physical affection and love getting cuddled by their owners. Similar to keeping dogs or cats as pets at home, interested bearded dragon keepers can also give their reptile pets names that are unique, funny, girly, boyish, or out of this world in nature.

Bearded dragons can also be treated as a son or daughter by childless pet keepers or those who live alone, needing company to keep them happy and occupied. These lizards can certainly deliver joy to their keepers, just like other common domesticated animals kept as pets at home.

We want to advise interested bearded dragon owners to take some time studying the care and health requirements of their desired morph or breed. We also highly suggest these animal lovers learn more about the general care requirements for bearded dragons. 

Finally, we believe it will be best if potential bearded dragon owners perform further research on genetics, especially if they are interested in breeding these lizards. After learning these fundamental details about leatherback bearded dragons and bearded dragons in general, we believe potential owners can easily decide. 

We also know they already have some useful insights on leatherback bearded dragons being a desirable morph to keep as a pet at home and how to take care of them for their whole lifespan.

Have a wonderful time caring for a leatherback bearded dragon!