Bearded dragons are not only one of the most popular lizards kept as pets, but they’re also one of the most popular reptiles too. You may be wondering, “how long does a bearded dragon live?” This article goes into depth on bearded dragon’s lifespan both in the wild as well as in captivity.
If you’re not an expert on this topic now, you sure will be by the end of this post!
Since we don’t want you reading the article unnecessarily if you’re just interested in their age and not in the information that comes with it, we’ve answered this in short below!
In short: Bearded dragons can reach an age of 7 to 8 years old in the wild, and ages of 7-12 years old aren’t uncommon in captivity! The oldest bearded dragon to have ever lived was almost 19 years old according to the Guinness book of world records.
Bearded dragon lifespan
Even though bearded dragons are very hardy lizards, they aren’t as long-lived as some of the other pet reptiles you can get.
While other commonly kept pet lizards, like leopard geckos, can reach an age well into their twenties, bearded dragons can’t quite compete.
That being said, they aren’t short-lived either, and it’s still quite a decision to get a bearded dragon. Apart from the fact they’re smaller and are kept in a terrarium for most of their life, it’s much like owning a dog!
Want to learn more cool facts about beardies? Check out our post on the best bearded dragon facts!
How long does a bearded dragon live?
Obviously, a bearded dragon’s lifespan fluctuates a lot depending on various different factors. There are illnesses and diseases that can cut a bearded dragon’s life short. Accidents can also happen inside the home which can cut your bearded dragon’s life short in the blink of an eye.
As well as this, things like diet also play a big part in determining the lifespan of your beardy!
How long bearded dragons live in the wild?
Bearded dragons can reach the age of 7-8 in the wild, but this is uncommon. Even though they’re called dragons, they aren’t quite at the top of the food chain in Australia, where they come from.
Predators from the sky as well as on the ground cause many to live much shorter than this.
Conditions in captivity are much better and more predictable than the conditions these little dragons face in the wild.
Unsterile living conditions, predators, climate and accidents are all common causes of death among wild bearded dragons. If kept in captivity (in proper conditions, at least), their lifespan is much more predictable.
How long bearded dragons live in captivity?
In captivity, a bearded dragon’s lifespan is a lot easier to determine. This is not only due to the controlled conditions, but also due to pet owners usually knowing how old their beardies are… You can ask a wild beardy how old they are, but most likely, they won’t answer.
In captivity, a lifespan of 7-12 years is not uncommon among bearded dragons. There have even been cases of bearded dragons growing older than this, but this isn’t as common.
Bearded dragons are popular pets and there’s a lot of information shared between breeders and keepers. This helps to give them the best chances of living long and healthy lives.
With a good diet, good conditions and a regular check-up by the vet, your beardy will reach a good age in most cases.
Bearded dragons when they’re young
A bearded dragon’s expected lifespan is greatly increased after they reach maturity. When they are young, bearded dragons are often a lot more vulnerable than when they’re older.
If they are cared for properly, then they will usually make it to adulthood without a problem. However, baby bearded dragon care is a lot more intensive than caring for a mature one. This is one of the main reasons why most people go for a slightly older beardy when buying a new pet.
Young bearded dragons may need to eat up to 5 times per day! They also eat mainly insects which can result in a lot of trips to the pet store/insect breeder.
They also need a slightly higher basking temperature, and should be monitored more closely.
For more information about caring for bearded dragons, see our bearded dragon care guide!
How to tell how old a bearded dragon is
Since bearded dragons are quite vulnerable and expensive to raise from young, a lot of people spend a little extra money to buy a (more) mature beardie.
This does come with the problem that you may not know exactly how old they are.
The best thing to do in this case, is to contact the place where you bought them.
In most cases, they should have a record of the age of your bearded dragon, and when it was born. However, if you bought them from a smaller breeder or hobby-breeder, then you might not have this luxury.
Luckily, in the early stages of a bearded dragons life, you can usually tell the age by their length.
If all else fails, then you’re going to have to gauge the age based on when you got them, and the size they were then.
If they had already reached the 12-months mark when you bought them, then you know they were at least a year old when you first got them.
The differences in lifespan between males and females
There are reptile species where the sex makes a big difference to the age they reach. A bearded dragons maximum age however, is not altered by the gender.
The only thing to be aware of is that, if they breed, a female generally has a shorter lifespan than a male beardie.
Bearded dragon sexual maturity
Bearded dragons reach sexual maturity somewhere between 8 months, and one and a half years.
That being said, it’s not advised to start breeding your bearded dragons until they are about 2 years old. For males, it can be a little younger, around 1 and a half years old.
What age is a bearded dragon full grown?
Bearded dragons usually reach their full-grown size by the age of 9-18 months. However, this can vary slightly from one beardy to another. Most of the growing happens in the first 6 months after being born.
What is the oldest bearded dragon to have existed?
The oldest bearded dragon on record, was almost 19 years old! He actually made it into the Guinness book of world records! There are many people who claim to have beardies that are older, but since it’s hard to verify, 19 years is officially still the age to beat!
Even though a bearded dragon’s lifespan is a lot shorter than some of the other reptiles available in the pet trade, they are still quite long-lived. Its quite a commitment to get a beardy, and you should think carefully before taking one home with you.
That being said, they make for wonderful pets. If you can spare the time and money, it’s a great expereince!