Beau and Monique, Dogs, Dog, Travel, Australia, Photos and Pictures

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Australian Water Dragon - Physignathus lesueurii

Australian Water Dragonwaterdragon

Water dragons, as their name suggests, are always located very close to water. This species is found in tropical rainforests at both high and low elevations throughout their range. Most adult Australian water dragons are between 60 cm and 90 cm (24″ - 36″) in total length. Males are typically 90cm or more in length while females usually only reach lengths of about 60cm. Water Dragons in Australia can be up to 1metre, with long powerful legs and claws. Their tail forms 2/3 of their length and is almost all muscle. It is laterally compressed to help act like an oar when swimming. The Water Dragon has a nuchal crest – a central row of enlarged spikey spines at the back of the head. These spikes continue down the spine, decreasing in size to the base of the tail. At the tail the spines divide into two rows. The Water Dragon’s upper body is a grey-green with cream and black transverse bands on the body and tail. Underneath the body is creamy brown-grey. They have loose folds of skin under the jaw, giving them an almost Bearded Dragon appearence.Australian water dragons are nervous when young. They may try to run or even jump in an attempt to escape. Older animals tend to calm down with regular handling as they grow. As long as you fully support them, adults will generally be content to sit comfortably when held. Australian water dragons typically live for 14-17 years in captivity; however, there are reports of animals living more than 20 years. Water Dragons at slow speeds run on all four legs, but to increase their running speed they can run on their back legs only. Their long powerful back legs and sharp claws help in their abilities to climb trees and dig holes for hibernation and nesting. Water Dragons are omnivorous (eat both plant and animal matter). They generally feed on insects, frogs, yabbies, other aquatic organisms, fruits, berries and flowers. They can eat under water. There has been recorded incidents of cannibalism occurring to young hatchlings

posted by Monique at 9:45 am  

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