How smart are Water Dragons?
First, we have to understand the significant classification/types of water dragons because their adaptation and smartness depend upon their species. How smart are Water Dragons?
There are two significant types of water dragon
- Australian Water Dragon
- Chinese Water Dragon
Australian Water dragon:
The Australian water dragon, which includes the eastern water dragon and the Gippsland water dragon subspecies are native to eastern Australia from Victoria northwards to East Queensland. There may be a small introduced number of Australian water dragons on the south-east coast of Southern Australia.
Australian water dragons have long claws for climbing and powerful limbs, a long muscular compressed tail for swimming, and prominent vertebral and nuchal crests. (A nuchal ridge/crest is a central row of spikes present at the head’s base. These spikes get smaller as they reach the bottom of the tail.)
Including their tails, which comprise about two-thirds of their total length, adult females grow to about 60-62 cm (2 feet) long, and adult males can grow slightly longer than one meter (3.1 feet) and weigh about 1-1.5 kg. Males show bolder coloration and have larger heads than females. Colour is less distinct in juveniles.
Chinese water dragon:
These water dragons can grow up to 1.2 m (3.6 ft) in total length, including the tail, and can live from 10 to 15 years. Their body color ranges from dark to light or dark green, or sometimes little purple, with an orange stomach. Diagonal stripes of dark green shades or turquoise are found on the body, while the tail is with strips from the middle to the end with white and green colors. Their undersides range from off white, white, pale yellow or very pale green. But their throats/neck region is considered to be more gorgeous, which can be quite beautiful with colors (blue and light purple, or peach), some with stripes, some with a single color. Adult males have more extensive and more triangular(pointed) heads than females and develop significantly larger crests on the head, neck, and tail than females and are larger in general. The tail consists of over two-thirds of the entire body length, can be used as a weapon of offense or defense, or for balance or to assist swimming.
Like many other reptiles lizards, the Chinese water dragon possesses an iridescent, small, photosensitive spot between their both eyes referred to as the pineal eye (or parietal eye, or considered as the third eye) that is suppose to help thermoregulate their bodies (Homeostasis) by sensing variations in light to seeking shelter and assist with basking after sunset. Since it recognizes differences and changes in light, the parietal eye can also help the water dragons avoid birds and other aerial threats. It can awaken the water dragon from a deep sleep from even minute changes in light from overhead.
Water Dragons are so Smart that they can be Trained
Want to Make Your Water Dragon More Social?
For Example, you bought a water dragon a long time ago and gave him the best enclosure and diet. Even so, owning one of the water dragons is still beyond the reach of the average person. Naturally, you feel frustrated because water dragons are not known to be friendly personalities. After spending some time with the water dragon, the only question you ask yourself or people ask us the most frequently is, why is your dragon so uncontroversial even after spending so long in your new home?
This is understandable if your dragon jumps out of your hand or hides inside the enclosure when you bring it home for the first time. You can try to make it more social by stopping it slowly if you need to take your pet out of the cage, which is mostly hidden, never try to pull it out. It will irritate your water dragon, and you can never be a charming owner. Remember, Chinese water dragons are smart lizards, and they know who cares and who doesn’t.
This will help if your pet is useful first, then expect it to be friendly in return. It is also essential to guide your guests and children not to catch the dragon if they want to keep it. Avoid carrying your pet on your lap or tying your arms every two hours. You may want to give your pet time and some timing sessions to relax. Baby dragons can be the most comfortable, while adult dragons usually do not respond immediately to your training sessions.
Taking the best care of your dragon will make it even more friendly, and you will have a perfect time with your “pet” water dragon.
They are Brilliant When Kept as Pets:
Water dragons can be an exciting pet when you spend time with them. You will need to set up a six by four by a six-foot enclosure with a substrate of water ponds, climbing twigs, and sterile soil. The ground will help keep the habitat moist. Humidity in the cage should be close to 80%, and the daytime temperature should be 84 to 88 degrees with 95 degrees basking area. The temperature at night should be between 75 and 80 degrees. UV lighting will also need to be provided. Water dragons eat live insects, including cricket, food insects, and even cockroaches. These water dragons are ‘evolving at a pace we can witness
With pinto markings like shadows through leaves, a female dragon tilts her head and waves her arm. It is not a friendly wave. It is a water dragon sign language similarly as humans do sign with a middle finger.
She’s communicating, clearly and vigorously, and in a language that is now being translated so humans can understand.
“Social behavior has been studied in mammals and birds, but not in reptiles because I think we’ve undermined them,” says Dr. Celine, a senior research fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The Dr.has been studying water dragons for ten years.
Their social capability:
“But we must admit that they exhibit social complexities that are similar to we have studied in dolphins and primates.”
Eastern Water Dragon Smartness as a Social Behavior:
When you understand social behavior’s evolution, it probably started hundreds and thousands of years ago with reptiles.
The eastern water dragon is the largest dragon species of Australia, and it comes from the same branch of the evolutionary hierarchy as the iguana.
Their smartness can be judged by how they behave and evolved with humans as pets in the brief domesticated period. For Example: “The tail slapping movement in the male indicates to move away to get out of his territory.”
The most Significant Smartness Behavior: Multiple Genetic Fathers in one Clutch of Eggs
Like many animals, control of resources is a crucial point, and for male eastern water dragons, one of those resources is females water dragons.
Protection for the family: Male water dragons always guard the best terrain possible. He’ll allow females to live in the territory with him and defend the region as a relatively safe space for them.
The females are polyandrous. Females will mate with multiple males, and when they lay a clutch of eggs, there may be several genetic fathers present in the one clutch.
But they also have an incredibly complex chain of command between females, policed by the largest females in the group who will even be so bold as to tell the much larger males off.
Advanced Species: “I think that they’re cognitively advanced. They always remember who is within their territory. Whom do they tolerate and whom they do not.”
“They also have to understand space well, and unique boundaries of their territories and who is next to them.
“To us, having studied mammalian social behavior for many, many years, we think they are equal in the chain of command—the dragon’s control supreme, and the like royalty too.
They’re omnivores like humans and crows and will eat everything from flowers right through to smaller lizards, even their offspring. It’s a dragon eat dragon world, with a mature male’s jaws exerting the downward force of over 44.095 pounds.
Important things to know about all water dragons to make them pets:
- Your experience Level: Moderate
- Lifespan: Mostly, Water dragons live about 10-15 years
- Size: They grow to be 3-3.2 feet (91-95 cm) long
- Origin: Originated from tropical climates.
- Temperament/Behavior: They spend most of their time in shrubs, branches, and trees in or around clean water.
- Interesting Fact: They have a “third eye” that is a spot between their eyes that can sense changes in light.