Chameleon Vs Bearded Dragon

Chameleons vs. Bearded Dragons: A Pet Owner’s Guide

Are you looking for a pet and can’t decide between a Chameleon and a Bearded Dragon? You’re in luck! This article will provide an in-depth analysis of both, so you can make an educated decision.

Both species make excellent pets for reptile enthusiasts and newbies alike. However, there are vast differences between the two, from their size to their dietary requirements. In this article, we’ll explore the different features of Chameleons and Bearded Dragons in detail, so you can find the perfect pet for your home.

What Are the Similarities Between Chameleon and Bearded Dragon?

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Both the Chameleon and Bearded Dragon share similar dietary requirements, such as eating insects or fruits. Additionally, they both inhabit similar habitats, such as deserts, forests, and grasslands. Lastly, they both have similar lifespans, ranging from five to eight years.


Having explored the differences between Chameleons and Bearded Dragon, it’s time to turn our attention to their similarities. Perhaps the most notable similarity between these two fascinating reptiles is their diet.

Both Chameleons and Bearded Dragons are predominantly insectivorous, meaning they consume a wide variety of insects as their main source of nutrition. Crickets and other insects, such as grasshoppers, moths, and mealworms, should form the majority of their diet.

Chameleons and Bearded Dragons enjoy occasional treats such as waxworms and pinky mice. Fruits and vegetables should also be offered occasionally as these contain essential vitamins and minerals for their overall health.


Chameleons and Bearded Dragons may look similar, however, they live in very different habitats. Chameleons are found in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar, Africa, India, and Sri Lanka, and prefer living in trees and shrubs. They can also be found in grasslands and deserts.

On the other hand, Bearded Dragons inhabit arid, rocky, and semi-desert environments in Australia. Bearded Dragons are ground dwellers and can be found basking on rocks and in the open sun.

They are adapted to the hot and dry climate, with spiny scales on their bodies to help them regulate their body temperatures. Both Chameleons and Bearded Dragons require access to water, however, the water needs for Bearded Dragons are much lower than those of Chameleons.


Overall, Chameleons and Bearded dragons have similar lifespans, with both species living anywhere between 4-10 years. Both species can live up to 12 years in captivity when given the proper care.

Many factors can affect the lifespan of both species including stress, injury, diet, and environment. Proper diet and environment are key to keeping either species healthy and living longer. While the lifespan of either species can be increased with proper care, the average lifespan is still quite short compared to other species of reptiles.

What Are the Differences Between Chameleon and Bearded Dragon?

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Moving on to the next area of comparison, Appearance; Chameleons are generally arboreal, having adapted to life in the trees, and have prehensile tails, whereas Bearded Dragons are typically terrestrial and do not possess prehensile tails.

In terms of Diet, Chameleons mainly feed on insects while Bearded Dragons are omnivorous, meaning they feed both on insects and plant matter. Lastly, in terms of Behavior, Chameleons are solitary and shy in nature, whereas Bearded Dragons are social and enjoy interacting with humans.


Now that we’ve examined the similarities between chameleons and bearded dragons, let’s take a closer look at their differences in terms of appearance.

Chameleons, as their name suggests, are well-known for their ability to change color and blend into their surroundings. They have a recognizable, triangular-shaped head and a prehensile tail which is used for gripping and balancing on branches.

In contrast, bearded dragons have a more varied appearance, with some having a more flattened and wide head while others are more triangular. They have short, stubby legs and a short, flat tail.

Both chameleons and bearded dragons come in a variety of colors and patterns; however, only chameleons have the ability to change color. This is due to the presence of special cells in their skin, called chromatophores, which allow them to change color based on their mood, temperature, and environment.

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, change color only as they age or when they are breeding.


Moving on from the similarities between Chameleons and Bearded Dragons, it is time to explore some of the differences between the two animals, beginning with their diets.

Chameleons are typically insectivores, feeding on insects such as crickets, flies, and caterpillars. They also may eat other small animals, like spiders, as well as some fruits and vegetables.

Bearded Dragons, however, are omnivores and have a more varied diet. They mainly eat insects, like Chameleons, but also eat flowers, greens, vegetables, and occasionally small mammals. They also need a source of calcium in their diet, such as a calcium supplement.

In conclusion, Chameleons and Bearded Dragons may have similar appearances and behaviors, but their diets are vastly different. While Chameleons mainly feed on insects, Bearded Dragons are omnivores and have a much more varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and small mammals.


Having discussed the similarities between the chameleon and the bearded dragon, such as their diets and appearances, now let’s explore the differences in their behaviors.

Chameleons are solitary creatures, meaning they prefer to live on their own, while bearded dragons are social animals that typically live in pairs or small groups.

When a bearded dragon is threatened, it will puff up its beard and display its spikes as a warning to the intruder. Chameleons, on the other hand, will use their camouflage abilities to hide from potential predators or threats.

Bearded dragons are also much more active than chameleons. They are known to be inquisitive and enjoy interacting with people and other animals. Chameleons, on the other hand, can be quite shy and prefer to keep to themselves.

They are also quite active at night, while bearded dragons will typically sleep during the night and wake during the day.

Chameleon vs Bearded Dragon: Physical Appearance

As we’ve seen, Chameleons and Bearded Dragons have many differences, but one of the most striking is their physical appearance. Chameleons have a unique ability to change colors, allowing them to blend into their environment. They also have a prehensile tail, which helps them to climb up trees and other structures.

In contrast, Bearded Dragons have a more stationary coloration, which is usually in shades of brown, tan, and yellow. They also have a short, stout tail which they use for balance when they climb.

When it comes to size, Chameleons tend to be much smaller than Bearded Dragons. Chameleons usually measure between 5 and 12 inches in length, while Bearded Dragons can grow up to 24 inches in length.

In addition, Bearded Dragons have the unique feature of having a large, spiny head and a rough, scaly body. Chameleons, on the other hand, have smooth scales and a pointed head.

When it comes to their behavior, Chameleons tend to be more solitary, while Bearded Dragons prefer to live in groups. Chameleons are also more sedentary, while Bearded Dragons are more active.

Bearded Dragons are typically more tolerant of being handled, while Chameleons are more skittish and can be easily startled.

Chameleon vs Bearded Dragon: Behavior

While the physical appearances of chameleons and bearded dragons may have some similarities, their behaviors are worlds apart. Chameleons are typically solitary, preferring to spend their time in trees and other areas of vegetation.

These animals are also known to camouflage, blending into their surroundings to avoid being seen. In contrast, bearded dragons are quite social and prefer to be in groups.

This species of lizard is usually found in open areas like deserts and savannas, where they bask in the sun. Additionally, they are more likely to be seen in their natural environment as they do not have the ability to camouflage.

Chameleon vs Bearded Dragon: Diet

Behavior is key in understanding an animal, but diet plays an equally important role. A chameleon and a bearded dragon have drastically different diets, and as a result, require different foods, nutrients, and care.

In the wild, chameleons primarily feed on insects or other invertebrates. In captivity, chameleons are generally fed crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and other insects. They will also accept larger insects such as locusts, cockroaches, and grasshoppers.

It is important to provide a variety of foods in order to ensure the chameleon receives essential nutrients. It is also important to make sure the insects are appropriately sized for the chameleon’s mouth.

In comparison, bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, they feed on a variety of insects, plants, fruits, and vegetables. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as collard greens, mustard greens, green beans, and apples.

They also should be offered a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Additionally, they should have calcium and vitamin supplements to ensure they are getting all the essential nutrients they need.

Ultimately, the dietary needs of a chameleon and bearded dragon vary vastly due to their different diets in the wild. It is important to provide a variety of foods and supplements to ensure they are receiving all the necessary nutrients.

By providing the appropriate food and supplements, the chameleon and bearded dragon can remain healthy and happy.

Chameleon vs Bearded Dragon: Enclosure

Having discussed the diet of both chameleons and bearded dragons, it is also important to consider their enclosure needs. Enclosures are essential for maintaining a healthy habitat for reptiles, as their living environment plays a major role in their well-being.

It is important to understand the differences between the enclosure needs of a chameleon and a bearded dragon so that the appropriate environment can be provided.

Chameleons require a larger enclosure compared to bearded dragons, as they need space to climb and explore. An enclosure for a chameleon should be at least 24 inches long, with plenty of plants, branches, and vines.

Additionally, an overhead UVB light should be provided to ensure the chameleon gets the necessary sunlight. As chameleons are generally solitary animals, they should not be kept with other animals in the enclosure.

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, can easily be kept in a 20-gallon tank. It is important to provide them with a variety of surfaces, including rocks, logs, and branches. The enclosure should also include an area to bask under a basking light, as well as an area to hide.

Similar to chameleons, bearded dragons need an overhead UVB light to ensure they are getting enough sunlight. It is important to note that bearded dragons can be kept with other bearded dragons, but caution should be taken when doing so.

Chameleon vs Bearded Dragon: Lighting

Moving on from the enclosure, another important factor to consider when choosing between a chameleon or a bearded dragon is the lighting. Lighting plays a crucial role in the health of both reptiles, as it helps to regulate their body temperature and provides them with the necessary UVB rays to aid them in their metabolic functions.

Chameleons require a very specific kind of light, typically provided by a combination of UVB, UVA, and natural light. This type of light must be provided in a way that mimics their natural environment and is best done with a combination of bulbs and sunlight.

A basking bulb is also required and should be positioned so that the reptile can move in and out of the light to regulate its body temperature.

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, are not as fussy when it comes to lighting. They require UVB lighting, as well as a basking bulb, but they do not need the same intensity of lighting that chameleons do. Bearded dragons should also have access to natural sunlight, as it helps to provide the necessary UVB rays that they need.

In conclusion, both reptiles have different lighting requirements and it is important to understand these requirements when making the decision of which one to buy. Without providing the correct lighting, it can have a severe impact on the health of the reptiles.

Chameleon vs Bearded Dragon: Handling

Moving on from the lighting, it is important to consider handling when deciding between a chameleon and a bearded dragon. Chameleons are generally more delicate than bearded dragons and often require more effort to handle.

Chameleons can be flighty and easily stressed, so one should be sure to handle them with care. It is also important to note that chameleons may bite if provoked or startled. Hence, one should remember to move slowly and gently when handling them.

Bearded dragons, on the other hand, tend to be more accepting of handling than chameleons and are usually very docile. They are generally easier to handle and can be very friendly.

Most bearded dragons enjoy being handled and can actually be very interactive and sociable with their owners, making them great pets for those who like to interact with their animals. Bearded dragons also rarely bite, so they are generally considered safer to handle than chameleons.

Overall, when it comes to handling, it is important to remember that chameleons require more care and caution than bearded dragons. With the proper care and handling, both chameleons and bearded dragons can make excellent pets.

Chameleon vs Bearded Dragon: Lifespan

Moving on from the handling of chameleons and bearded dragons, it is important to consider the lifespan of these two reptiles. Generally speaking, chameleons have a much shorter lifespan than bearded dragons. In the wild, chameleons usually live for about one to two years, whereas bearded dragons live for up to 10 years.

In captivity, the lifespan of a chameleon can be extended to up to 5 years, whereas bearded dragons can live for up to 15 years. It is important to note that these life spans are dependent on the care the lizard receives. With proper diet, housing, and handling, these animals can thrive and live to their full life expectancy.

In comparison, chameleons are much more delicate reptiles and require the utmost care and attention. As a result, they are not suitable for all pet owners, especially those who lack the required knowledge and experience. On the other hand, bearded dragons are considered a great choice for novice pet owners, since they are hardier and more resilient.


In conclusion, the Bearded Dragon and Chameleon are both exotic reptiles that make for enjoyable and rewarding pet lizards. They have many similarities, such as their need for similar diets, enclosure types, and lighting.

However, they also have some major differences, such as their physical appearance, behavior, and handling. Ultimately, both the Chameleon and Bearded Dragon make great pets for reptile enthusiasts, and the decision to choose one over the other should be made based on the individual’s lifestyle, preferences, and budget.

Regardless of which one you choose, both lizards will provide years of interesting and entertaining companionship.