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.
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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.
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 (is this the same as the “neck thing”? click here) 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).
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.
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 (Click here to see where that is) 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?