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Posted by Ingo on December 16, 1999 at 10:03:13:
In Reply to: Hmm...lets see...bearded dragons and chickens = apples and oranges?? More... posted by Sara O. on December 16, 1999 at 08:49:36:
:Without wanting to offend anyone, I have to disagree. Surely you will again call me nasty, but I really feel urged to continue with these postings, since I am convinced that A LOT of herps are still being kept under non appropriate conditions-just because the owners donīt know, whats apt. Ok, the following may be called just an opinion. Iīm not a professional herpetologist, but with a phd in biology and a long interest in herping and herps in the wild, I think this opinion is not completely free of substantial background and If ONE Keeeper thinks twice about it and changes sth, its worth posting.
Beardies are social animals which hence should be kept at least in pairs. They reach considerable sizes, up to 20" are not unnormal and I have seen a 24" beardi. Beardies are very hardy creatures-in fact one of the hardiest reptile species I know about. So they can be kept quite long and healthy even under non optimum conditions. Beardies like any lizard should have the opportunity to run a short distance, to find several hidings of apt size for an adult beardie, to have access to a moister point. To find sun and shadow and to find places where they can get out of sight of their cagemates. For an adult beadie that means that the tank should be at least 4 x 5 ft for a pair. In smaller enclosures you can not provide these essentials. Since they are so hardy, you can keep them healthy and even prolific in much smaller enclosures for years. But I strongly argue against calling this apt housing. If one has not the space or the money to built enclosures of the size I mentioned, he should go for smaller herps than beardies. Its a very common fact that people argue their animal donīt needs much space if they only have limited space. But watch a pair of beardies in a large tank and apair in a small one. You cannot oversiee the dirfference in agility. beardies in small tanks often become very "lazy".
Another point is lighting: A 100W basking spot is nothing in intensity compared to desert light. Theres so much discussion about UVB -I posted my opinion about that earlier- that people forget how important high intensity visible light for the regulation of activity via Epiphysis stimulation is for lizards, especially desert dwellers. So I strongly recommend that any beardie should have access to lets say a metal halide of at least 150 W -and thats still far from natural conditions. OK, those people whi live within a climate which allows keeping their beardies in the open sun for months donīt have to worry too much about this issue. But those are surely not the majority. Considering all these (what I call) facts, beardie keeping is costly-and thats probably why now many people will shout No, not true! Anyhow, think about it...twice.....and try to sleep calm with a beardie in a 60 gallon under low light intensity