Rankin's aka Lawson Dragons
Rankin's/Lawson's dragons are frequently referred to as "pygmy dragons". They are an entirely different animal than the classic Bearded Dragon. Their scientific name is Pogona henrylawsoni after a poet named Henry Lawson. These tiny dragons are very different in appearance from bearded dragons. They are shorter, more stout and "stubby" looking and they do not puff out a "beard". Rankin's do not get bigger than 10 inches and are ideal pets for owners who have very limited space. It is very hard to come by them, in a pure non-inbred form, in the USA because they are only a few breeders that have imported them and many have health issues. Many dragon owners are being told they are buying a "Pygmy Bearded Dragon" or a Rankin's Dragon and it is actually a really small runt, or underfed bearded dragon. If it is a true Rankin's/Lawson's the breeder will state that and you will notice a price difference as well. Always make sure to insist on seeing photos of the parents when purchasing one of these dragons.
Many people gravitate to Rankin's as they are tiny as they have a constant hatchling like appearance. Rankin's are adorable and have great personalities like the bearded dragon, but they are a little more work on the care end as their feeder insects have to be smaller, greens diced thinner and they require more frequent hydration like a hatchling bearded dragon.
Despite what you may have heard specialized morphs among this species do not exist yet. Bearded Dragon breeders have been breeding Rankin's with runt Bearded Dragons attempting to create leatherback, translucent and many other morphs of Bearded Dragons in a Rankin's Dragon. The fact is they do not exist yet and if you have been sold a dragon that has the appearance of a bearded dragon special morph, it is not a true Rankin's Dragon. Some crossbreeds have been created like the "vittikins" dragon which may have a few similar features but do not stay 10 inches in length, they always grow to be larger and more close in size to a standard bearded dragon.
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