ball python vs bearded dragon

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: A Very Strange Comparison

Are you considering adding a pet to your home? Ball Pythons and Bearded Dragons are two popular reptiles that make great pets. Before choosing one, it is important to understand the unique features and characteristics of each species.

In this article, we will explore the differences between ball pythons and bearded dragons, and discuss the pros and cons of both.

Each species has its own set of specific needs when it comes to habitat, diet, health, and general care. Ball pythons tend to be more docile and less active, while bearded dragons are more outgoing and active.

In terms of size, ball pythons can grow up to five feet, while bearded dragons usually reach a maximum of two feet. Additionally, ball pythons need more humidity in their enclosure, while bearded dragons need drier conditions.

What Are the Similarities Between Ball Python and Bearded Dragon?

Both the ball python and the bearded dragon have relatively small body sizes, making them suitable for home terrariums.

Additionally, both species are omnivorous, relying on a diet of both insects and plants.

Finally, these reptiles have a long lifespan, with the ball python reaching up to 40 years and the bearded dragon up to 10 years.

Body Size

Though ball pythons and bearded dragons are quite different creatures, they do share some similarities in body size. Both are relatively small reptiles, with the average adult ball python growing to a length of three to five feet and the average adult bearded dragon reaching lengths of 18 to 24 inches.

Additionally, both creatures have similar weight averages, with a ball python weighing in around three to five pounds and a bearded dragon weighing two to three pounds.

When it comes to body size, both creatures have similar averages:

  • Ball Python:
    • Length: 3-5 feet
    • Weight: 3-5 pounds
  • Bearded Dragon:
    • Length: 18-24 inches
    • Weight: 2-3 pounds

In comparison to other reptiles, both the ball python and bearded dragon are considered to be relatively small.


Transitioning from body size, the next similarity between ball pythons and bearded dragons is their diet. Both animals are carnivorous, yet they each have unique preferences when it comes to food.

Their diet consists of three main categories: insects, small mammals, and occasionally plants. Bearded dragons, typically eat insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms.

They may also eat small mammals such as mice. Ball pythons, however, usually only eat insects and small mammals, such as mice and rats.

Below is a list of their respective diets:

  • Bearded Dragon:
    • Insects
    • Small Mammals
    • Occasional Plants
  • Ball Python:
    • Insects
    • Small Mammals

Overall, both these reptiles share the same carnivorous diet, with minor differences in their food preferences.


Having explored the body size and diet similarities between ball pythons and bearded dragons, it is time to look at the similarities in their lifespans. Both reptiles share an average lifespan of about 10 to 15 years when properly cared for, with some specimens living up to 20 years.

When considering the lifespan of these species, there are a few important factors to keep in mind:

  • Age at Maturity:
    • Ball pythons reach sexual maturity between 3-4 years of age.
    • Bearded dragons reach sexual maturity between 12-18 months of age.
  • Environmental Factors:
    • Humidity and temperature levels should be monitored and kept at optimal levels.
    • Proper nutrition and diet must be maintained for optimal health.
  • Health Considerations:
    • Regular vet visits are recommended to monitor and address any health concerns.
    • Adequate housing should be provided to avoid overcrowding and stress.

When all of these factors are taken into consideration, ball pythons and bearded dragons can live long and healthy life. With proper care and attention, these species can provide years of companionship and enjoyment.

What Are the Differences Between Ball Python and Bearded Dragon?

One major difference between the Ball Python and Bearded Dragon is their temperament. Ball Pythons are generally more docile and easy to handle, while Bearded Dragons are more active and can be considered more high-strung.

This can affect the type of environment and care they need as well as the handling experience. In addition, Ball Pythons can be prone to defensive behavior when feeling threatened, while Bearded Dragons tend to be more tolerant toward humans.

Ball Python

Now that we have discussed the similarities between the Ball Python and the Bearded Dragon, let’s dive deeper and explore the differences between the two. As far as the Ball Python is concerned, perhaps the most significant difference is its temperament.

While Bearded Dragons are known for being docile and friendly, the Ball Python is much more shy and reserved.

Typically, Ball Pythons take a longer time to acclimate to their environment and their human caretaker. They are generally more skittish and may exhibit defensive behaviors, such as hissing if they feel threatened.

To ensure a positive relationship between Ball Python and its owner, it is important to provide a gentle and consistent approach to handling and care.

  • Temperament:
    • Bearded Dragons: Docile and friendly
    • Ball Python: Shy and reserved

It is also important to provide a secure and safe enclosure for your Ball Python, as they are known to be escape artists. Additionally, Ball Pythons need to be fed regularly and may require a specialized diet.

If you are considering a Ball Python as a pet, it is essential to be aware of its unique needs and temperament.

Bearded Dragon

Now that we have discussed the similarities between ball python and bearded dragon, let’s explore the differences between these two reptiles. In terms of temperament, bearded dragons tend to be more active and curious than ball pythons, who are more docile and shy.

Bearded dragons also require more frequent handling and interaction than ball pythons, as they can become accustomed to and even bond with their owners. It is important to note that although bearded dragons can become friendly and interactive, they can also be easily scared and stressed if handled too much.

In terms of physical differences, bearded dragons have much harder scales than ball pythons, as well as bony plates along their back. They also have beards, which they use to puff up when threatened. Here is a nested bullet point list that outlines the other differences between these two reptiles:

  • Bearded Dragons
    • Can live up to 10-12 years
    • Generally require more frequent handling and interaction
    • Have much harder scales
    • Have bony plates along their back
    • Can puff up their beards when threatened
  • Ball Pythons
    • Can live up to 20-30 years
    • Are generally docile and shy
    • Have softer scales
    • Are less likely to interact with their owners

Ultimately, it is important to understand the differences between a ball python and a bearded dragon in order to determine which one is best suited for your lifestyle and needs.


Now that we have explored the similarities between Ball Python and Bearded Dragon, let’s take a look at the differences, starting with their temperaments.

While Ball Pythons can be quite docile and are generally considered to be good starter snakes, Bearded Dragons can be more active and require a bit more handling to become friendly.

The temperaments of these two reptiles can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Ball Python
    • Generally docile, calm, and easy to handle.
    • Can become skittish if not handled regularly.
  • Bearded Dragon
    • Generally active and require more handling to become friendly.
    • Can be skittish if not handled properly.

Although both animals can become skittish, Bearded Dragons require more frequent handling and can become more easily accustomed to people if handled regularly. Ball Pythons, on the other hand, can be calmer and more docile, making them great starter snakes.

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: Physical Appearance

The physical appearance of both the Ball Python and Bearded Dragon can be drastically different, which can be difficult to discern at first glance. The most obvious difference between the two is their size. Bearded Dragons typically grow up to 24 inches in length, while Ball Pythons grow up to 3-5 feet in length.

In addition to size, Ball Pythons have a very noticeable difference in their head shape. They have a triangular head shape, while Bearded Dragons have a more rounded head.

Another difference in their physical appearance is their coloring. Bearded Dragons can have a range of coloration, from light brown to yellow to red. However, Ball Pythons have a more limited range of coloration; they are typically brown, black, and white.

The last major difference in physical appearance lies in their scales. Bearded Dragons are covered in small, spiky scales, while Ball Pythons have smooth scales. This difference in scales also causes a difference in texture. Bearded Dragons have a rough texture, while Ball Pythons have a very smooth texture.

In conclusion, the physical appearance of the Ball Python and the Bearded Dragon can be vastly different, ranging from size to color to scales. Therefore, it is important to be able to recognize the differences in physical appearance in order to properly identify the two species.

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: Behavior

Having discussed the physical appearance of Ball Pythons and Bearded Dragons, let’s move on to understanding their behavior. Bearded Dragons are known to be very active and social animals. They can often be seen basking in the sun, climbing, and exploring their surroundings.

Bearded Dragons typically favor warmer climates and are known to be quite hardy. On the other hand, Ball Pythons tend to be more independent, tending to be solitary animals. They prefer cooler temperatures and are known to be shy and retiring. They also tend to be nocturnal, meaning that they are most active during the night.

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: Diet

Moving on from the behavioral differences between Ball Pythons and Bearded Dragons, we now turn to the dietary differences between these two species. It is important to understand the dietary needs of each reptile in order to provide them with the best care possible.

Ball Pythons are primarily carnivorous, meaning they feed mainly on mice, rats, and other small mammals. They will also occasionally eat birds and other small animals.

It is important to remember not to feed them large prey, as this can cause health problems. They should also be provided with a variety of vitamins and minerals to ensure proper nutrition.

Bearded Dragons, on the other hand, are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They tend to feed mainly on insects, but they also should receive a variety of fruits and vegetables for proper nutrition.

A diet of only insects can lead to nutritional deficiencies, so it is important to supplement their diet with other foods. Additionally, they should also be given a variety of vitamins and minerals to ensure they are receiving all the nutrients their bodies need.

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: Enclosure

When selecting the right pet for your home, the enclosure is a major factor to consider. A Ball Python and a Bearded Dragon have drastically different needs, and the best way to keep them happy and healthy is to understand their individual needs and provide accordingly.

The Ball Python is a relatively small constrictor, and requires an enclosure that is at least 20 gallons in size, although a larger enclosure is always preferred. The enclosure should be escape-proof and have a secure lid.

It is important to remember that Ball Pythons are adept climbers, so the enclosure should be tall enough for them to climb and explore, with a secure lid to avoid any potential escapes. The enclosure should also have a hide box, a substrate, and a bowl of water.

Bearded Dragons, on the other hand, require much more space than Ball Pythons do. A single Bearded Dragon should have an enclosure that is at least 40 gallons in size, although bigger is always better.

A glass terrarium is the ideal home for a Bearded Dragon, as it provides a great level of insulation and allows you to monitor them easily. The enclosure should also have plenty of places for them to climb and bask, as well as a secure lid to prevent any potential escapes.

A heat lamp is also necessary, as Bearded Dragons need to maintain a temperature between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit in order to stay healthy.

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: Lighting

Moving on from the enclosures needed for each of the two reptiles, the lighting requirements for a ball python and a bearded dragon are vastly different. Bearded dragons, as desert-dwelling reptiles, require much more light than ball pythons, which prefer nocturnal conditions.

Along with a UVA and UVB bulb for a bearded dragon, an overhead heat lamp is necessary for them to thrive. The temperature should be around 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, ball pythons need a much cooler environment. A basking spot should be provided, but the lighting should remain dim and subdued.

Bearded dragons require a very particular lighting setup to maintain their health. A specialized bulb, emitting both UVA and UVB light, should be provided and placed approximately 8-12 inches away from the dragon.

The UVB bulb should be changed every 6 months to ensure that the reptile is receiving adequate lighting. A heat lamp should also be provided, as mentioned previously, to maintain the ideal temperature and provide the dragon with a basking spot.

Ball pythons, however, do not require the same level of lighting. These reptiles are typically nocturnal, so bright lights should be avoided. A ceramic heat emitter should be provided for warmth, and a red or blue bulb can be used as a night light.

The light should remain dim, and not be too bright or harsh. The temperature should be kept cooler, around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: Handling

When it comes to handling, ball pythons tend to be more docile than bearded dragons. This makes ball pythons ideal for beginner reptile owners, as they don’t require too much handling or specialized knowledge. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, require more frequent handling and care.

When handling ball pythons, it is important to take them slowly and to always supervise the snake. Ball pythons, like all reptiles, can be easily startled by movement and sudden noises. With regular handling, ball pythons will become more comfortable and will eventually learn to trust their owners.

Bearded dragons are generally more active than ball pythons and require more frequent handling. Bearded dragons should never be handled while they are still in the early stages of shedding, as it can cause them discomfort.

Additionally, when handling a bearded dragon it is important to place one hand gently behind their front legs and the other hand on their tail. This will help keep the dragon from squirming and possibly falling. It is also important to handle bearded dragons for short periods of time and to never squeeze their tail.

In conclusion, ball pythons are generally more docile and require less handling than bearded dragons. This makes ball pythons ideal for beginner reptile owners, while bearded dragons require more frequent and careful handling.

Ball Python vs Bearded Dragon: Lifespan

Now that we have discussed the handling of both Ball Pythons and Bearded Dragons, let’s move on to another important factor to consider: lifespan. The longevity of your pet is a major decision that you should take into account when making your decision.

Ball Pythons typically live between 20-30 years, while Bearded Dragons usually live between 5-8 years. This is a significant difference when it comes to long-term commitment and care.

With a Ball Python, you are signing up for a long-term relationship, while with a Bearded Dragon, you may be able to keep it for a few years before needing to look for another.

The key to extending the lifespan of your pet is proper care. Both Ball Pythons and Bearded Dragons require a specific environment in order to thrive. This includes a specific temperature, diet, and lighting.

If you are willing and able to provide the necessary care, both reptiles can live up to their potential lifespans. However, if you are not able to provide the proper care, you may find that your pet has a much shorter lifespan.


In conclusion, both the Ball Python and the Bearded Dragon are great pet reptiles to consider. Both have their own unique characteristics that make them appealing to pet owners.

The Ball Python has a smaller size, which may make it easier to handle, while the Bearded Dragon has a more outgoing personality and may be better suited for those looking for an interactive pet.

Ultimately, the choice of which reptile to own is up to the individual and their lifestyle. Regardless of the reptile chosen, it is important to research and understand the animal’s needs so that it can live a healthy and happy life.