If you're looking for a pet that's a little different from your average cat or dog, why not consider a Rankin's Dragon? These reptilian divas are known for their fierce personalities and fabulous looks. But before you rush out to buy one, there's a lot you need to know.
What is a Rankin's Dragon?
Rankin's Dragons, also known as Lawson's Dragons, are a species of agamid lizard native to Australia. They're smaller than their famous cousin, the Bearded Dragon, but what they lack in size, they make up for in personality.
These little lizards are known for their spiky scales, expressive eyes, and their ability to change color depending on their mood. They're also known for their fierce, independent streak, which is why we've affectionately dubbed them 'reptilian divas'.
The History of Rankin's Dragons
The Rankin's Dragon was first described by herpetologist Harold Cogger in 1960. They're named after Dr. Rankin, who was the first to study these fascinating creatures in the wild. Despite their relatively recent discovery, Rankin's Dragons have quickly become popular pets due to their unique characteristics and manageable size.
While they're not as well-known as Bearded Dragons, Rankin's Dragons are slowly gaining recognition in the reptile-keeping community. They're often recommended for beginners due to their hardy nature and relatively easy care requirements.
How to Care for a Rankin's Dragon
Rankin's Dragons may be fierce and fabulous, but they're also relatively easy to care for. However, like all pets, they have specific needs that must be met to ensure their health and happiness.
Rankin's Dragons need a spacious terrarium to call home. The minimum size for an adult dragon is 36" x 18" x 18", but bigger is always better. The terrarium should have a heat source, a UVB light, and plenty of hiding spots.
The substrate (bedding) should be easy to clean and non-toxic. Reptile carpet, newspaper, or tile are all good options. Avoid sand, as it can cause impaction if ingested.
Rankin's Dragons are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. A balanced diet for a Rankin's Dragon includes a variety of insects (like crickets, mealworms, and roaches) and vegetables (like collard greens, squash, and bell peppers).
It's important to dust the insects with a calcium supplement before feeding them to your dragon. This helps prevent metabolic bone disease, a common ailment in captive reptiles.
FAQs about Rankin's Dragons
- How long do Rankin's Dragons live?
With proper care, Rankin's Dragons can live up to 10-15 years in captivity.
- Are Rankin's Dragons good pets?
Yes, Rankin's Dragons make excellent pets! They're hardy, relatively easy to care for, and have lots of personality.
- Can Rankin's Dragons be handled?
Yes, Rankin's Dragons can be handled, but it's important to do so gently and respectfully. Always wash your hands before and after handling your dragon.
Rankin's Dragons are a unique and rewarding pet for those willing to meet their needs. They may be small, but they're packed full of personality and charm. With their fierce independence and fabulous looks, it's no wonder these reptilian divas are quickly becoming a favorite among reptile enthusiasts.
Whether you're a seasoned herpetologist or a first-time reptile owner, a Rankin's Dragon could be the perfect addition to your family. Just remember, every dragon deserves a castle, so make sure you're prepared to provide your new pet with the care and attention they deserve.