Native to Austrailia's deserts, bearded dragons (Pogona sp.) are medium-sized lizards (1 to 2 feet long) with rows of soft spikes under their chin and down the sides of their flat bodies. Their tails make up about half the total length of their bodies.
Bearded Dragons are a calm, relaxed but alert lizard. It's these qualities that make bearded dragons popular in the pet-lizard trade. You'll find them available in stores, at reptile expos and on breeders' websites.
But it takes a serious commitment to be a responsible owner of a bearded dragon. Beardies can live for 6 to 10 years - and some have lived twice that long!
For one or two animals, you'll need a 55-gallon aquarium with a substrate or sand, newspaper or "reptile carpet" that you'll need to change frequently. The lid should be screened to help keep humidity low. You'll need a basking light to keep part of the habitat at 92 - 102 degrees, plus full-spectrum UVB lighting. You'll sometimes need to mist your dragon with water to help it shed.
You'll need to feed your bearded dragon crickets and mealworms (which you'll need to dust first with a vitamin/mineral supplement. And be sure to offer finely chopped vegetables and fruits ... and newborn mice called "pinky mice."
The habitat will need to be cleaned of droppings and left-over foods daily.