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How Long Do Panther Chameleons Live?

If you are a fan of panther chameleons you may be wondering how long they live, and the best way to care for them (Click here to see my best enclosures for Panther Chameleons to keep them happy), but how long can they live?

How long do panther Chameleons live? They live 7 to 8 years on average. However, females are expected to live less than this mainly because of laying eggs (more on this later). How they are treated makes a big difference in their life expectancy, as you can expect.

Now that you know roughly how long they live, let me go on to explain why the female is not expected to live as long, how breeding affects their life, how long till they get their colors and much more.

Why do Females live a shorter life, on average?

female panther chameleons life span

female panther chameleons life span

As discussed earlier panther chameleons can live 7 to 8 years. However, like us humans, how we treat our bodies plays a big factor in that. Therefore you can expect a well looked after panther to live longer, remember the figure I stated is an average.

I also mentioned that females live younger, on average. This is because their bodies receive a lot more stress. Mainly due to breeding. They breed every year and this takes a toll on their bodies.

The interesting fact about females, and life expectancy. Is the stress their bodies with breeding even if there is not a male around, really? Yes, really.

This is because, even if there is not a male to fertilize their eggs, they just go ahead and lay the unfertilized eggs.

How long until a Panther gets its colors?

With a relatively short life, you may be wondering how long they take to get those beautiful colors that you may have heard about.

It will take at least 18 months for them to get these colors. However, it can be quite confusing for some owners. Why? Because by the age of approx 6 months they will be displaying some lovely vibrant colors.

And, you may be fooled into thinking that they have fully developed their colors. But, this is not the case. They are not fully there yet. Again, in a few more months, say about 9 or 10 months, you may be fooled again for similar reasons. But, until they are at least 18 months, they have not fully developed their colors.

How often should they be fed?

So far you have learned how long panthers live for and why the female has the raw deal. But, what about feeding them, to keep them happy and maximizing their life expectancy?

According to this site, they should not be fed too much. This may sound like a weird thing to say, I guess. But, they suggest that in the wild, they cannot guarantee regular food, due to the restraints of hunting, etc.

Therefore in captivity, it is not recommended to overfeed them. Therefore, the recommendation is approx four times a week.

How often do Panthers lay eggs?

Earlier we talked briefly about how the female has the raw deal. With the extra stresses of laying eggs, etc. But how often is this egg-laying?

Once the female panther chameleon reaches sexual maturity, they are expected to lay eggs each year. And, unfortunately, are expected to die only a few years after they are done with egg-laying.

To give you an idea, they are expected to drop between five and eight clutches of eggs in their lifetime. And, each clutch can have quite a few eggs. But, to be more precise, each cutch can have anywhere from 15 to 35 eggs (give or take a few).

The eggs take quite a while to hatch as well. according to Wikipedia, they typically take 240 days to hatch, wow! Quite a while. If you think about it logically, the female spends the majority of her adult life either laying, mating or hatching eggs.

Can a panther Chameleon Change Color?

Yes, a panther Chameleon can change color (Click here to see what a Chameleon’s Color Actually Mean). However, many people have an unrealistic understanding of what triggers a chameleon’s color changes.

Contrary to popular belief it is not based on camouflaging themselves to their environment. And, they can’t instantly change to any color to match their surroundings, even though it makes entertaining television thinking this happens, right?

Their color changes are based on their mood, temperature, and lighting. And, regarding them being perceived to change to any color. In reality, they have certain colors within their range actually. For example, if yellow is not in their range, they will never turn yellow, regardless if they standing next to a yellow object, no what I mean?

Female Signals to a Male

From time to time a female may come across an over-excited male, you know the type, eager to get his “mate on”. But, how does this damsel in distress deal with this beast on heat?

Simple, she literally raises her alarm! When I say alarm, I mean visually, rather than sound. Basically she will change color to some weird contrasting hues.

I am talking about black with pink, for example. In the panther cham’s world, it means something to the over-excited male. They usually get the hint at this point.

In some cases, it’s not because she is just not interested. She may also be gravid (carrying eggs) at the time.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to panther chameleons. If you have any questions that you feel have not been answered, then feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Are Panther Chameleons Aggressive?

Yes, panther chameleons are aggressive. Especially male chameleons. In fact, not only are they aggressive to their own species, but they are also like this with other lizards.

The male is known to get so worked up about rival males that even his own reflection on a glass enclosure has been known to spark aggression. At this point, he will flare up his bright colors to show a clear warning sign.

Once these colors are displayed, If another male panther cham is in the vicinity it is likely to follow up with a fight for territory.

Q: What is an Ambilobe Panther Chameleon?

The Ambilobe is a sub-species of the panther chameleon. But, what is a sub-species? If you have researched chameleons before you may know that there are not only species of chameleons, such as the panther there are also sub-species such as the Masoala Panther Chameleon (Click here to learn more about them, Facts, Diet, Care, etc). They are ultimately still Panthers but may have certain color variations that are different, etc.

Q: Why are the called Panther Chameleons?

You may be wondering why the panther Chameleon is actually this, that is fair enough, I had the same question in my head until I discovered this. Let me explain…

According to this site, A Panther Chameleon’s scientific/particular name is “Furcifer Pardalis”. The “Pardalis” in their name stands for Leopard in Latin. This is because their skin has an interesting pattern that is spotted like a leopard.

In Africa, panther chameleons have black markings and black leopards are known as panthers. Hence the name Panther Chameleon.

Q: Do panther chameleons like to be held?

No, Panther Chameleons do not like to be held. As much as you may love the idea of holding them. They tend to get stressed out by this. Therefore many owners have the understanding that they are not really a touchy-feely pet. And, they understand that should be just observed and enjoyed from a distance.

Q: How long is a panther chameleon tongue?

Their tongue is approximately twice their body length. It’s actually one of those weird facts about chameleons.  The share size of it is amazing.

You may not be amazed right now, because it may be hard to compare to our tongues. But, lets put it like this. It’s almost like you walking around with a tongue that is about 12 foot in length, are you with me?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Turkey? (Bad Idea?)

If you are a fan of beardie’s like me, you will be keen to offer them the right food (Click here to see what foods they should eat, and what to avoid), but what about meats such as Turkey?…

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Turkey? No, it’s not recommended. The reason is it has very little nutritional benefits for them and there are other more nutritional meats, such as insects that will better for them. Some keepers do feed it to their beardies, but mainly as an occasional treat.

Now that you know that turkey is not the best, let me explain to you exactly why turkey is not great, the exact nutritional benefits it offers, if the processed turkey is any better (hint: not much different) and other alternatives that are better suited, keep reading…

Why is turkey not a good idea?

Earlier I mentioned that turkey is not a good idea. But, what is it, exactly that is wrong with turkey, from a nutritional perspective?

In general, it has more salt and fat than a Bearded dragon should be consuming. As I said, you can probably get away with it occasionally, but it should never be considered their staple diet. Later on I will list the nutritional content of the turkey to help you understand my point.

What is Turkey (the animal)?

what is a turkey
what is a turkey

As they say, you are what you eat, but what exactly is a turkey, and how did it get that name? Let me explain…

According to Wikipedia a Turkey is a big bird and it’s from the Meleagris genus. It has a distinctive wattle that hangs down, looks like a piece of excess skin, are you with me?

The male is larger and has some stand-out colors. This trend of the male being more colorful has been seen in many other animals such as other species of lizards.

Where is it from?

These turkeys are native to the Americas. You may be wondering, if that is the case how did they spread out to Europe and other areas? Well, in the 1500s they were introduced to Europe & Asia by Spanish sellers.

And, what about their name? Why Turkey?

It is believed that one of their routes to get into Europe was via Turkey, and for that reason, the name stuck.

Nutritional Break-down of Turkeys

You may be wondering, what does turkey actually have in it? Have a look at the table below, compiled with the help of wikipedia (amount per 100g):

ItemPercentage
Fat10%
Cholesterol36%
Sodium4%
Potassium6%
Protein58%

What meat can Bearded Dragons Eat?

Now that you know that bearded dragons should avoid turkey, what meat sources can they actually eat is the obvious next question, right?

They can eat quite a wide variety of meat. This is typically in the form of live insects. However, some insects are better than others, as you would assume. Here are a few examples:

  • Mealworms (more on this later)
  • Waxworms
  • Earthworms
  • Cockroaches
  • etc

However, it does not just have to be live insects, it can also be animals such as pinky mice (but these are only a consideration for adult Beardies – but, more on pinky mice later).

Can Beardies Eat Turkey in the form of Lunch Meat (Sandwich style)?

So far I have explained some of the concerns with turkey and the meats that you would typically expect them to eat. But, even though the answer may be obvious right now, based on my last sections. What about turkey sliced meat, you know the one you usually put in sandwiches?

I get it, this type of meat is convenient, cheap and easy to get hold of. Also, you do not have to mess with live insects, right? I get the reasons why someone would be interested in. But, the short answer is no, Bearded dragons should not be fed turkey lunch sliced meat.

Why? Simple, it is packed with salt and fat (not as much fat at some meats, I get that, but still). These foods are even questionable for humans, to be honest (but that is whole other topic).

Ok, What about ground turkey?

So, by now you should be getting the trend. And, you should definitely know that sliced turkey is a big no-no. But what about the ground turkey, surely that’s ok, right?

The short answer is no, Bearded dragons should not eat ground turkey. But, why? Well, if you look at things logically, is this something that is available in the wild, in their natural habitat?

Exactly, no it’s not. Therefore, it should not be considered as pet food in our domesticated environment. This is why live insects are good, they are more akin to their natural habitat, are you with me?

Is Cooked food even an option?

So far I have given many meat-related foods a kicking when it comes to feeding your bearded dragon. However, does this mean that no cooked food is an option?

Generally speaking, no, cooked food is not a good idea for Beardies. However, from time to time many lizard keepers do feed them this, for example, these owners discuss it. But, the point is, it should never be considered as an alternative to their main (staple) diet, such as vegetables and live insects.

Can the cooked food have seasoning?

As discussed, in moderation, many lizard keepers have fed their beardies cooked meat. But what happens if that cooked meat has seasoning on it (e.g. salt, pepper, spices)?

The short answer is no, bearded dragons should not be eating seasoned cooked food. The problem with this seasoning is, even if it doesn’t have salt directly on it, the seasoning is likely to have a high salt content. So, it is not worth chances it.

Are pinky Mice better than serving turkey?

Early I mentioned pinky mice as a consideration. But, are they a better option than serving turkey? Arguably they could be considered a better option. But, they should still only be considered a treat.

However, before you go ahead and buy a selection of live pinkie mice and throw them in your beardies enclosure, let me explain why this is a bad idea.

Be careful of live pinkies

The problem is, pinkies are fighters! If you throw a pinkie mice in with your beardie and it inevitable tries to eat it live. The pinkie with bite your beardie pretty badly. They will not go down easy.

Therefore, many owners suggest it is better to feed them frozen pinkies instead. This will avoid the headache and potential injury.

Why are crickets a better option than turkey?

If you have looked into food for your Beardie, then there is a good chance that you have heard of owners discussing or buying crickets. But, why are they a better option than turkey?

Comparing turkey and crickets for Beardies is simply no challenge. Crickets have a great amount of protein and calcium and are a popular choice for that reason. Also, Beardies love live insects, the movement entices them.

The only gripe is their hard body. They can sometimes cause some digestion issues due to this. However, owners still persist to use them.

Are Mealworms a better option than Turkey?

So, now that you know why crickets are a better option. What about mealworms, no doubt you have heard of these before, right (Click here to learn more about mealworms).

Mealworms are perfect for many lizards, but according to this site, they are not ideal for bearded dragons. But, why is this? They say that they have too much fat and also phosphor.

To make matters worse, they have little protein and calcium, which is needed by your beardie. So, let me be clear, other owners do still feed them this. But, it is not their main staple food are you with me?

It’s like us humans, we know if we eat fatty fast food too much its bad, but arguably, in moderation (as a treat) it’s not that bad. Does that make sense?

Bearded Dragon Throat Pouch: What’s it for?

If you are keen to understand your beardie (Click here for more ways to understand your bearded dragon) then you may wonder what that throat pouch on their head is and what it’s used for. Let me explain…

What is the Bearded Dragons throat pouch for? It is used for a number of reasons such as being enlarged (or puffed up as it is commonly called) to intimidate its opponent, to attract a mate for breeding and even a sign of anxiety. Therefore, it is a multi-faceted organ.

Now that you know what it is used for let me now explain to you the number of ways it can be used, how baby beardies use it, why it can be linked to anxiety and much more…

What is the throat pouch?

Now that you understand what it’s for, do you actually know what this pouch looks like? If not let me explain. On the surface, as you glance at it, it looks like a flap of skin and fat and resembles a human beard.

This is the reason why it is typically called a beard, as you can imagine. This throat patch, or beard, has the ability to turn black as well (but, more on this later).

Ways they use their throat: The big puffer!

So far you have learned what their throat pouch is used for and exactly what it is. However, are you aware of all the things that it can use its throat pouch for? If not, hold tight, I will explain this now.

Aggression

bearded dragon aggression

bearded dragon aggression

One of their known tricks is puffing up their beard and body to intimidate their opponent. They are also known to open their mouth wide, whilst keeping their body puffed up so that they can further intimidate their foe.

Feeling nervous/anxious (baby beardies)

Often baby beardies are seen to be puffing up and turning black for unknown reasons. The confusion happens when there is no clear threat, however, they still do this.

It is believed to be linked to anxiety or nervousness. This may be brought on by a new environment. This is more expected as your new baby beardie gets acclimatized to its new home. In time, it is likely to feel less stressed and return to normal.

Increasing Shedding Speed

Another trick that often confuses lizard keepers is during shedding. For Bearded dragons, they have an additional trick up their sleeve. Basically they can puff up their throat pouch to force their skin to shed quicker.

As you can see by now, this behavior is so multi-faceted it can be very difficult to nail down exactly why the throat pouch has been expanded.

Hey, look at me!

Their throat pouch can even be used for them just to show off. Yes, they may just puff up that damn beard to put the spotlight on themselves. Especially if it’s mating season (more on this later).

Just Stretching!

Like us humans, we all need to stretch sometimes. This is no different for beardies. However, unlike us, they can expand their bodies, and throat pouch to relieve this sudden urge.

Pop it like its hot!

Ok, just a personal joke. But on a serious note, beardies are even known to pop their ears using the simple expansion of their throats and body.

Think of it in terms of us humans. Do you ever yawn to pop that thing? Well, beardies are no different, are you with me?

The Throat Breeder!

Puffing out their throat can also help them find a date. As they expand it, along with their body it sends a signal to a potential female mate. If the female is interested, she will reciprocate with a cheeky head bob!

Do Bearded dragons store food in their throat?

With the share size of their throat, you may wonder what else they can store in there. Could they store food in there? Well, let’s discuss this now…

Yes, they can store food in their throat. But, to be honest it is not a long term storage location. In fact, it is a hazard while it is there. Short term, yes it should be fine.

To help to prevent this happening, it is a good idea to provide smaller portions, monitor him while he eats and just check that he is not overdoing it, are you with me?

Why do they puff out their eyes?

There have been some beardie keepers that claim that they have seen their bearded dragons puff their eyes. According to this site, they believe it’s linked to shedding.

It sounds a bit weird, but the belief is that it is a technique used to expand their skin and force the shedding around that area to finish.

What does a black colored throat indicate?

If you have seen your beardie change its throat color to black, you may be puzzled wondering why it is doing this. The reality is, it could be for a few reasons.

In fact, we have covered a couple naturally in this article already. But just to summarise, this could indicate an unwell beardie, as well as a male trying to entice a female for mating.

Think of it as a complex signal that could be used for many things. However, one thing you can be sure of, it is an indication of emotion with an intended purpose.

Related Questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to bearded dragons. If you have some additional questions, not answered here, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Q: Do bearded dragons have 3 eyes?

Yes, they do. This may seem like an outlandish statement. In fact, you may even feel like hitting the back button-based ion this, but hear me out. According to this site they do.

Apparently they have a parietal eye which is located o their head, near their other two normal eyes. However, this eye is not the same. They do not have the same vision with this eye. It simply picks up shadows and changes in light with it.

Q: Will a bearded dragon poop on you?

No, they will not poop on you. But, this is not out of courtesy, its because they technically do not poop. What? Instead of pooping they get rid of their waste in one universal matter called urates.

Urates is in the form of white/yellow solid form and come out of its cloaca. What is the cloaca? Think of this as your beardies equivalent of the human anus. This is probably the best way to explain it.

Q: Can bearded dragons see you?

Yes, bearded dragons can see you. You may be curious to understand what your beardie can really see, and to be honest that is reasonable. Especially when you are investing in them.

Not only can they see you they can also see colors. They also have a great field of vision as well. Their only real issue regarding their vision is their perception of depth.

Q: What is the lifespan of a bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons (Click here to see if Bearded Dragons can eat turkey) can live an average of 10 years. However, that is in captivity. In their natural habitat that can be less. But why? Well, in the wild there are a lot more hazards. Such as the constant threat of being eaten by another predator, lack of food to prey on, etc.

Q: Do bearded dragons smell?

No, unless you neglect them. What do I mean? Well, like any pet, if you neglect to clean up after them, such as cleaning their housing, making sure they are physically clean, etc. Then, you will start to smell them. It may not be instantly (however, in some cases it can be), but, in time it can for sure if the lackadaisical treatment continues, are you with me?

Do Bearded dragons eat banana?

If you are a bearded dragon fan and you want to make sure you do things right (click here for my best guide for bearded dragons) you may be wondering if they can eat a banana. Let me explain…

Do bearded dragons eat bananas? Yes, bearded dragons do eat a banana. However, you need to make sure that you give them bananas sparingly. This is because the nutritional value of the banana is not perfect for them (more on this later).

Now that you know that they can eat bananas, I will now go on to explain why they shouldn’t eat so much, exactly what is in a banana to raise these concerns, what the ideal food mix is for your beardie, and more…

Why should you not feed your bearded dragon too much banana?

In the last section, I explained that bearded dragons can eat bananas but I cautioned you not to do it regularly. In this section, I’m going to give you a couple of reasons why you should limit the amount of banana you feed to your bearded dragon.

Too much sugar.

One of the biggest concerns with bananas is the number of carbs it has (more on this later). Secondly, the other big issue with bananas is the amount of phosphorus it has in ratio to the calcium it has.

Phosphorus is a binding material for calcium. there is a certain phosphorus to calcium ratio that bearded dragons should consume to keep them safe. However, the phosphorus levels in bananas is far greater than thy need.

The problem with this is if you feed your bearded dragon a lot of bananas you could be making it calcium deficient. Which, in the long term, could lead to deficiencies such as Metabolic Bone Disorder or MBD as it is more commonly known as.

What is a banana?

what is a banana

what is a banana

 

So far we have learned why your bearded dragon should not be eating too many bananas and the reasons for this. However, I do not want to assume you fully understand exactly what a banana is. And, for this reason in this section, I will explain exactly what it is.

A banana is an edible fruit that is popular in many countries. Stereotypically it is known to be a yellow elongated fruit with a hard outer skin and a soft white flesh in the middle.

However, you can get bananas that are not always yellow. In fact, before they are ripe, they are green. You can also get plantain. Plaintain is typically used for cooking rather than a dessert banana. It is usually sold while it is green.

Can a bearded dragon live on bananas alone?

Earlier I explain exactly what a banana is and the reasons why you need to limit the amount you give to your beardie. However, there are some people that still ask if it’s possible to feed their bearded dragon bananas exclusively.

For that reason, I’m going to give you some reasons why this is not a good idea and an idea of what they should be eating.

Omnivores

Bearded dragons are omnivores. this basically means that they eat a combination of meat (insects) as well as vegetables and fruit.

This means that they have the best of both worlds. They can eat vegetables as well as meat. But they still need to have a balanced diet, meaning the combination of these food types, are you with me?

Therefore, no bearded dragons should not be eating bananas exclusively. They should be eating insects as well as vegetables and fruit.

Later on, in this article, I will explain some of the best ratios of meat to vegetables that your typical bearded dragon should be eating. I will also explain how this ratio will change with old age.

What are the benefits of bananas?

So far we have learned what you should or should not be allowing your bearded dragon to consume, when it comes to bananas and combining this with vegetables, etc. But, what are the advantages of bananas for us as well as bearded dragons?

Bananas are often loved for their convenience because they are easily picked up in supermarkets and easily served.

Even though we talked about some of the concerns, such as the amount of sugar/carbs, they still have a good source of fiber.

For humans, we love bananas because they are a sweet snack that can be picked up on the go, especially during lunchtime.

Are bananas filled with sugar?

I explained earlier that bananas are filled with sugar but why is this exactly? In this section, I will explore some of these reasons.

According to this site, 93% of bananas are from carbs. Right now this may not mean much to you at the minute but I will explain how this is relevant to sugar in a second.

Carbs have a massive impact on your blood sugar levels. They are a big concern for diabetics and they need to be monitored for this reason.

Therefore for a bearded dragon, it is important to control the number of carbs they are consuming. Because there is only so many carbs and sugar that their body should be consuming on a daily basis.

Carbs effectively raise the blood sugar level more than any other nutrient and this is one of the reasons why they have to be controlled.

What is so bad about bananas?

One of the biggest concerns with bananas is they are not great for humans that are on a low-carb diet. For a bearded dragon there is a certain nutritional balance that they need to maintain and therefore bananas are great but need to be consumed in small doses.

And, as I mentioned briefly earlier for diabetics that are controlling their carbs and sugar intake they are a bit concerned because they can spike insulin levels.

Related Questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to bananas & bearded dragons. If you have some extra questions that you need answering, please feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Do bananas have seeds?

No, most commercially sold bananas do not have seeds. Some bearded dragon owners have concerns about seeds in certain fruits and how it may affect their pet.

In the commercial market, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find seeds in bananas. If you happend to notice some black speckled dots within the banana there is a good chance that these are immature seeds which will not actually develop and reproduce.

Meaning they are harmless seeds that are not the same as the original wild grown bananas that you would find in tropical countries such as Jamaica.

But why is this?

The main reason for this is due to commercial objectives and profit. Meaning it is a way to control the reproduction and supply of bananas to entice their buyers to continually buy from one supplier.

Q: Can you feed bananas along with insects and water?

Yes you can serve them bananas along with insects and water. But, when you are serving up bananas or any fruit for that matter along with insects you need to be careful when you combine them with water.

This is because there is a chance that the insect can actually fall into the water and drown. This is not ideal because the dead insects are not good for your bearded dragon. Therefore you need to discard these insects as soon as possible.

Q: Do bearded dragons need a different diet as they get older?

Yes, as bearded dragons gets older you need to adjust their diet. Especially in the domestic market. But why is this? Because, as a bearded dragon gets older it inevitably becomes less active.

This means that the beardie stands the chance of becoming obese if you do not control its diet correctly. It is a good idea to reduce the amount of meat they consume in a day when they get older to cut down the chances of them becoming too obese.

Q: Should you feed baby bearded dragons vegetables?

Yes, you should feed baby beardies vegetables. in fact, they should be consuming at least 20% of vegetables and 80% meat. This is the kind of percentage you will need for a hatchling and a juvenile bearded dragon. As discussed earlier, as they get older this ratio will change.

Q: Should you feed bearded dragons onions?

No, you should not feed bearded dragons onions (Click here to see why Bearded Dragons should not eat onions).