Can Bearded Dragons Regrow Tails? How About OTHER Body Parts? If you’re just curious to know whether or not Bearded Dragons are able to regrow their tails – or maybe your Dragon dropped its tail and you’d like to know what to do next, then you’ve come to the right place.
Bearded Dragons don’t have the ability to regrow their tail or any other body parts. Bearded Dragons that lose their tails have, however, the ability to heal, but ultimately their tail will heal and stay as it is. It will not grow back.
Tail dropping is a well-known defensive mechanism among most reptiles. Bearded Dragons have other defensive mechanisms of their own such as hissing, head bobbing, etc., but tail dropping is not of them. In today’s post, you will learn why Bearded Dragons lose their tails, what to do if your Bearded Dragon dropped its tail, PLUS much more.
Can Bearded Dragons Regrow Tails?
It’s important to understand that tail loss in Bearded Dragons is not a defensive mechanism. Bearded Dragons don’t have the ability to consciously lose their tail. Neither they have the ability to regrow their tail or ANY other body parts.
However, just because Bearded Dragons don’t have the ability to lose their tail, it doesn’t imply they could not lose their tail, which is why it is imperative that you understand the reason behind tail loss in reptiles, as well as how to avoid such an unfortunate situation.
The reptiles capable of voluntarily lose their tails in response to predators, exhibit a behavior known as caudal autonomy, meant to distract the predators while they’re planning an escape. Caudal autonomy is NOT a strategy Bearded Dragons use to survive in the wild.
Lizards That Can Regrow Tails
- Five-Lined Skink
- Blue-Black Plated Lizard
- Western Neon Blue-Tailed Tree Lizard
- Barbour’s Day Gecko
- Blue-Tailed Ground Lizard
Sometimes, but not always, Bearded Dragons will partially regrow their tails. However, they will NEVER regrow their tails 100%. They are able to heal the area after accidentally losing their tails, which may sometimes look like they regrew it, but that’s really not the case.
Lizards that have the ability to regrow their tails have several weak spots called fracture planes along the tail, which allows them to lose their tail when needed, according to Marcie Logsdon, from Veterinary Clinical Sciences Faculty. Bearded Dragons don’t have fracture planes along the tail, which is why they can’t regrow their tail.
Reasons Of Tail Loss In Bearded Dragons
The #1 reason a reptile will detach its tail is to defend itself. After losing their tail, the tail will continue to whip around and wiggle on the ground. This is primarily meant to distract the predator and give the prey enough room to plan its escape.
The tail of the lizard will continue to move around on the ground for up to half an hour. Bearded dragons don’t need to lose their tail to defend themselves against predators, but they can involuntarily lose their tail. Bearded dragons take use other defensive mechanisms such as but not limited to head bobbing, hissing, and beard puffing.
For some species of lizard, tail dropping is a desperate solution meant to help them survive in extreme situations. A longer iguana tail might need more than a year to grow back, while the tail of a small green anole can grow back in less than 2 months.
According to a Study of Lizards In Greece And On Islands In The Aegean Sea, conducted by the biologist Jeffrey P. Cohn, lizards that have to defend themselves against a large number of predators are able to lose their tails with more ease.
Additionally, it has been discovered that the #1 predator small lizards have to defend themselves against is the well-known, venomous viper.
Lizards that live in areas where venomous vipers live have the ability to lose their tail more rapidly and grow them back faster than lizards that don’t share the same area with venomous snakes such us the extremely venomous viper. But if not because of caudal autonomy, why do bearded dragons lose their tail? Here are 3 common reason:
Reason #1: Tail Rot
Tail rot, also known as tail necrosis, is a very common condition seen in a variety of pet lizards, including bearded dragons. Tail rot can have devastating consequences if left untreated.
Tail rot can be recognized with ease by most bearded dragon owners. Expect to see a noticeable color change to the tail. The area affected will become dry, hard, and inflexible. If you suspect your bearded dragon is affected by this serious condition, you should take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
It is known that the condition can spread to the body and affect other internal orgasm if not treated in time. In some extreme situations – if left untreated – tail rot can even lead to great pain or even death in bearded dragons.
Some of the most common causes of tail rot in bearded dragons include trauma, infection, blood clots lodge in tail, inability to shed properly which can further lead to constriction, as well as hypothermia.
Reason #2: Shedding Issues
Failing in providing a bearded dragon with the right habitat can further lead to shedding problems such as your dragon’s inability to shed properly, which can result in pieces of shed getting stucked.
While you can help your dragon remove pieces of shed that get stuck by giving him a warm bath, it is better to get the necessary steps to avoid having to deal with such an unfortunate situation.
It is good practice to observe your dragon’s shedding process closely every single time and ensure he is shedding properly. NEVER pull the shed off with your hands as this can cause more problems.
Long story short, you will want to provide your bearded dragon with the right lighting and heating setup, a good, balanced diet, as well as the right habitat setup to ensure he will never have to deal with shedding issues.
BEST thing you can do during the shedding process is just to leave him alone. As long as you have provided him with the correct setup, he will not need your help during shedding. Here’s a list of habitat items that will help a shedding bearded dragon:
- Quality UVB Lights
- Proper Lighting & Heating
- Balanced Diet
Reason #3: Roommates
Always remember that bearded dragons are solitary creatures and thrive when housed alone. Generally, most bearded dragons don’t really enjoy sharing their cage with another lizard pet.
While the general rule is that bearded dragons should be in 100% of cases housed alone, depending on its personality some bearded dragons may live together just fine.
However, remember that housing two bearded dragons together can lead to aggressive behavior, which can further lead to injuries that are better to be avoided. Housing two bearded dragons in the same cage can in some cases result in one of them getting part of their tail bitten off.
This is rarely the case but it can happen. Making sure of the dangers of housing bearded dragons is a must for every owner. So while this is highly unlikely to happen since there aren’t many bearded dragon keeping two dragons in the same cage, it is worth mentioning.
Negative Effects Associated With Tail Loss In Bearded Dragons
As you can imagine, the ability some lizards have to voluntarily amputate specific body parts – while a great defensive mechanism – can have some drawbacks as well. In today’s guide, we will focus on the negative effects associated with tail loss in bearded dragons.
Consequence #1: Balance Problems
Labrador Retrievers use their tail to keep proper balance when running or swimming. Cats also use their tail for proper balance. Same can be told about bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons enjoy not only to walk and roam around, but they also like to climb. Their tail is allowing them to balance with easy when walking, climbing, or when having to hold their position on a branch.
Try to observe your dragon when moving around or when climbing on a branch and you will start to notice how they use strategic, very effective tail moves to keep proper balance.
Consequence #2: Social Signals
This is a very important aspect to remember, especially for new owners. One of the behaviors bearded dragons exhibit when introduced to a new home is tail twitching. A stressed bearded dragon will move its tail to let you know he doesn’t enjoy your presence or simply because he doesn’t want to be handled right now.
Occasionally, a bearded dragon’s tail will twitch when they are hunting live prey such as crickets or other live insects bearded dragons eat.
Lastly, bearded dragons also exhibit tail twitching when other bearded dragons – or any other pets – are around. This happens mainly because they want the other guy to be aware of their mood and avoid conflict.
Consequence #3: Reproduction
A dragon’s tail will also move when mating. Both dragons taking part in the breeding process will exhibit tail twitching. However, there are no studies showing that a bearded dragon that dropped its tail won’t be able to mate anymore.
While they can still mate without their tail, it may be fair to say that they might in fact have to spend more time and energy to keep their balance and perform to high standards.
It is also worth mentioning that a dragon without a tail will now appear much smaller in the eyes of predators, as well as other bearded dragons. One of the most effective, and widely used defensive mechanisms in reptiles is their ability to make themselves look bigger, whereas a dragon without a tail is already 30% smaller than before.
Know How To React If It Happens
If you’re dragon lost its tail, you should seek professional help right away. Since bearded dragons don’t have the ability to drop their tail voluntarily, this is most likely to happen – if it happens – due to an infection or other health issues mentioned above.
That will leave your dragon with an open wound. He will be in real pain and therefore, needs veterinary assistance right away. In some cases, surgery will be needed but in most cases, your dragon will receive treatment that is meant to help him deal with the pain and heal properly.
Learn To Avoid Tail Loss In Pet Bearded Dragons
Tip #1: Responsible Objects Only
This may seem a bit vague, but I want you to remember that you should not keep any sharp, unstable, otherwise dangerous objects inside a dragon’s cage. Something as simple as a bad cut can lead to internal infections in bearded dragons.
Tip #2: Calcium Deficiency
As you may know already, Metabolic Bone Disease [MBD] is one of the most common diseases in captive reptiles, including bearded dragons. Bearded dragons that end up being seriously malnourished are most likely to have low calcium levels.
Calcium deficiency can also lead to tail rot disease. Always remember that bearded dragons need proper calcium levels to develop strong bones and cartilage growth.
Following the same logic, failing in providing a bearded dragon with proper levels of calcium will result in damage to its bony structures until the infection becomes so bad that its tail will begin to rot.
In conclusion, knowing that a bearded dragon doesn’t have the ability to regrow its tail – or any other body parts such as limb, legs, etc – should come as a wake up call for all bearded dragon owners out there.
It’s crucial that you know how to properly care for a pet bearded dragon in order to avoid having to deal with tail loss in bearded dragons. If you don’t, worry no more as this is what this website is all about.
I really hope this article helped you better understand the negative sides of tail loss in bearded dragons, how to react in the unlikely event of tail loss, as well as what are some steps you can take to ensure this will never happen to your dragon.
If you’d like to get in touch, have any questions for me, or you just have other suggestions for bearded dragon owners you’d like me to add to this article, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].