The Egg/Embryo stage of a dragons life last anywhere from 40-90 days. During this time the dragon develops from a speck hardly bigger than a grain of sand until it is almost ready to hatch and is the size of a penny. When dragon's are weightless in their eggs they develop a skeleton, organs and sometimes, a the beginnings of a personality. Click for more information on egg care.
In the Hatching stage a dragon cuts its way through the egg with a tiny hole, this is called "piping". The hole is made with a teeny egg tooth that falls off right after hatching. The dragon takes it first gulp of oxygen and feels gravity for the first time. Hatching is exhausting and can take up to 48 hours. Dragons remain in the hatchling stage until they are about 6 months old. As the grow and learn to walk, explore and hunt there is a hint of their future personality. These clumsy babies often trip, stumble and tire very easily. Owning a dragon in this stage requires lots of attention and special care and it is not recommended to ever buy a dragon at this stage for a small child.
The Juvenile stage starts around 6 months to 1 year and is the most fun. It is the best stage to have as a pet for younger children. The dragons are heartier but still have lots of energy and are very entertaining to watch. In this stage they are much better hunters. This is when distinct male vs. female characteristics start to develop and it becomes more clear in a clutch housed together who the dominant males are. Young males will start running around bobbing their tiny heads, trying to puff out their little beards and trying to turn their beards dark to display for females and rival males. For the young females there is lots of running away and arm waving in submission. It is common to see both male and females wave in a group, but females do it more often.
This stage is from 1-2 years of age. This is the stage where you should be able to 100% sex your beaded dragon as their development is almost complete. If your dragon is male it will show increasing signs of dominating, more head bobbing, full dark black beard and a lot of running about. This is all perfectly normal, and the females just try to avoid them as they are more passive and laid back. The true personality of your dragon becomes evident at this time and if you spend enough time with your dragon you should be able to see and feel the bond you share.
In the Adult stage bearded dragons are about 2 years old and fully grown in length and will start to grow more in width. Dragons in this stage are a lot more laid back and relaxed. Dragons have a complete sense of what to expect in their daily life and have a full recognition of the people and things around it. Spending most of their time basking, occasionally walking over to eat, dragons don't like to exude too much energy, unless of course they are male and see a female or rival male. Dragons typically live for about 8-10 years, but there have been cases where they lived to be 15. It is important to remember at this stage your face is imprinted on them, they recognize you for providing their needs and this is the best age to spend long periods of time holding them and even taking them out to a park or pet store (with a harness).
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