My iguana used to like to cuddle between a cat and a dog, his friends, so I know there’s no reason why a cat and a bearded dragon wouldn’t do the same. Once a lizard learns that a mammal is warm, his whole attitude changes. You’d be surprised by how responsive they can be.
All any pet lizard needs is a cat who won’t try to eat him.
My iguana had dog and cat friends, and loved to cuddle with them. Today the Australian bearded lizard is a very popular pet, and is able to make friends with the mammals in the house. Sometimes.
Some of these dogs and cats get the threat display from the lizard, and some don’t. You will notice the squirrel–not a member of the household–gets head-bobbed pretty good. The parakeet’s attentions don’t go over too big, either. But none of the kittens or puppies is in any danger of getting bitten, and in time they’ll be cuddle-buddies with the lizard.
Some of them, at least.
I had my iguana for 17 years; but this Japanese family had theirs for 23! Theirs even looks like mine, and the video brings me close to tears. (Average lifespan in captivity: ten years)
Iguanas are social animals, and they have to be socialized. Like mine, this iguana was thoroughly integrated into family life and the result was a wonderful pet. My iguana loved to cuddle with people–or dogs or cats, if no people were available. Would you believe it? He died in 1978, and I miss him still.
As you can see, these are really big lizards. But they start out little, and that’s when you should start teaching them how to be good. Believe me, they learn.
The only thing they can’t do as pets, assuming you raised them right, is… be furry!
Ever since the really hot weather started, we’ve been annoyed by flies.
The very thought of a chameleon is a morale-booster. These guys never miss! I know because I had chameleons many years ago and they were super-deadly to any flying or crawling or hopping insect. Much more accurate than I am with a fly-swatter.
It’s a pleasure to watch.
Well, I do! Some of you, I fear, think lizards are icky. Maybe I can win you over, with help from some of the little characters in this video.
By the way, the iguana riding the rumba is highly annoyed with someone or something. You can learn to read their body language, which is really quite expressive.
Eventually the Australian bearded lizards will make friends with the orange cat, once he’s convinced of the cat’s good intentions.
And you’ve got to love the baby chameleon who’s seeing running water for the first time and thinks he ought to be able to grab hold of it and climb it. Live and learn.
Here is an American anole (aka “chameleon”) reacting to his reflection in a mirror. The pink dewlap and the push-up motions are a common threat display.
My anole went far beyond what this one does. He turned several shades of brown and black and, with jaws gaping, lunged at his reflection. I had to take the mirror away, and I never showed it to him again.
Jambo, everybody! Mr. Nature here–I had to chase Dr. Credulous out of my chair.
I remember the first time I had chameleons and dumped an order of live crickets, dusted with vitamin powder, into the cage. Zap! Zap! Zappity-zap! All gone, in a matter of minutes.
I don’t know why, but something about Nancy Pelosi talking about having to “capture kids while they’re in high school” brought to mind hungry chameleons capturing defenseless crickets. But chameleons are an awful lot cuter.
Eyes in turrets that can focus independently, firmly anchored by a prehensile tail and a surprisingly strong grip, with a shooting tongue that’s usually quite accurate, and powerful jaws–not to mention the ability to change color, drastically: the Lord has abundantly and with genius equipped the chameleon to do its thing.
Here’s a lizard who knows exactly what he wants–blueberries! And if the floor’s too slippery for graceful locomotion, that’s a small price to pay.
People have been having a lot of fun with these Australian bearded lizards since they became popular. The lizards, I mean; not the people. I don’t much care for the idea of people as pets.
This is a wild gecko in Australia that came into someone’s house, as geckos often do, and most emphatically didn’t want to leave. Considering the very small size of this lizard, he puts up quite a tussle. Note the bobbed tail: it probably broke off, some time ago, and didn’t grow back all the way.
BTW, a lot of people like having geckos in their homes. They eat lots and lots of bugs.
In case you thought lizards have no voice, you were wrong. They just don’t feel the need to say much.
These Australian bearded lizards have become very popular as pets. Here, a beardie shares a threat display with his reflection in a mirror. Like a cat, he goes off to the side to look behind the mirror. I never saw a lizard do that before.
Mr. Nature says the beardie is a member of the Agamid family of lizards, which live in the Old World. Here in the New World, our big lizard family is the Iguanids. Although Agamids and Iguanids aren’t closely related, you might swear they were. Familiar Iguanid lizards have close counterparts among Agamids: the horned lizard (aka “horned toad”) and the Australian thorny moloch look like chips off the same old block. Even funnier, Iguanids and Agamids share a lot of the same behaviors–like head-bobbing as a threat display. Most Iguanids, from the little dime-store “chameleons” (green anoles, actually: not really chameleons at all) to the biggest iguanas, the males all head-bob at each other, usually serving as an alternative to actual fighting, which saves a lot of wear and tear on the lizards. (When the females fight, it’s for keeps.) And so do a lot of the Agamids.
I wonder why God set it up that way.