There was a special guest in assembly this week as Percy the bearded dragon made a surprise appearance. The reptile belongs to teacher Mr Bee, who owns Percy and his brother. He said: ‘ Percy belongs to the order of squamata which is among the most diverse groups of reptiles with about 7,600 species alive today including snakes, lizards and worm lizards. The bearded dragon’s scientific name is pogona vitticeps and the species originates from Australia. Bearded dragons can be found in habitats from deserts to woodlands. They are omnivores which means their diet consists of live meat and vegetables.
‘He has spikes all around his body, to scare away predators, however the main reason is that bearded dragons and other lizards tend to live in hot and dry climates and the spikes catch water vapour in the air and filter it towards the mouth. Percy is quite flat and has a large surface area on his back. This is because reptiles are cold blooded which means they do not generate their own internal heat. Bearded dragons also have a long tail to help them keep their balance when running after prey. When Percy runs his tail will be in the air to help him to keep his balance, he diagonally alternates the feet that are touching the ground which is due to the fact that where he is from the ground will also be hot. Male dragons are territorial and they darken their beards and nod their heads as a sign of aggression while waving with a leg is a sign of submission.’