Do Bearded Dragons Blink

Do Bearded Dragons Blink?

When it comes to the intriguing world of reptiles, bearded dragons stand out for their distinct behavior and fascinating features. Among the many queries raised by both potential and current bearded dragon owners, a prevalent one is, “Do bearded dragons blink?

The bearded dragon, scientifically known as Pogona, possesses a highly specialized eye structure. This structure is fundamentally different from human eyes, and it’s precisely this difference that paves the way for their unique behavioral characteristics, such as blinking or lack thereof.

Unlike humans who have both upper and lower movable eyelids, bearded dragons have what’s called a ‘spectacle’ or a brille. This structure resembles a clear, thin membrane that shields the eye, much like a permanent contact lens.

The Mystery of Blinking in Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragon
Credit: თამარ ხინჩაკაძე

Given their eye structure, bearded dragons do not blink the way mammals do. They lack the muscular system to open and close their eyes. However, they do perform an action that might be interpreted as blinking – they close their eyes when they sleep and occasionally while eating.

The spectacle does an exceptional job of keeping their eyes moist and protected. It also helps regulate light entering the eye, negating the necessity for blinking, as experienced by humans and other mammals.

Eye-Closing: A Behavioral Quirk

Downs Bearded Dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) - Winton area
Credit: lockie Gilding

You might observe that your bearded dragon often closes its eyes during specific activities, like when being stroked or while eating. This behavior can be likened to blinking, but in reality, it’s more of a behavioral quirk than a physiological necessity.

Some reptile behaviorists believe this eye-closing behavior in bearded dragons is an expression of trust or contentment, similar to a cat purring.

Others suggest it’s a defensive response, akin to an ostrich burying its head in the sand. It’s important to understand these interpretations are speculative and the true reason behind such behavior remains somewhat enigmatic.

Eye Health: A Vital Aspect of Bearded Dragon Care

Grumpy dragon
Credit: PogoPogona

While blinking might not be a part of a bearded dragon’s behavioral repertoire, maintaining their eye health is of paramount importance. The spectacle can occasionally shed, and problems can arise if it doesn’t come off completely. This can result in symptoms such as eye irritation, swelling, or rubbing.

As a bearded dragon owner, it’s essential to monitor your pet’s eye health. Always look out for signs of discomfort or abnormalities. Should any eye-related problems arise, seek immediate veterinary assistance to ensure your pet remains in good health.

Concluding Thoughts: The Fascinating Eyes of Bearded Dragons

So, do bearded dragons blink? In essence, they do not blink as we humans do, due to their unique eye structure. Instead, they exhibit a unique set of behaviors related to eye-closing that intrigue pet owner and researchers alike.

The eye health of bearded dragons is a critical component of their overall well-being. So, while they might not blink, observing and understanding these exotic pets’ behaviors is crucial to ensure they live comfortable and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bearded Dragons’ Eye Behavior

Bearded dragons possess a unique eye structure that doesn’t require them to blink like mammals. They have a ‘spectacle’ or a brille, which acts like a transparent, permanent contact lens, protecting their eyes and keeping them moisturized.

2. How does a bearded dragon keep its eyes moist without blinking?

The ‘spectacle’ or the brille, a thin, transparent membrane over a bearded dragon’s eyes, performs the job of keeping their eyes moist. It also regulates the amount of light entering the eye, which negates the need for blinking.

3. Why does my bearded dragon close its eyes when I stroke it?

This is a behavioral characteristic observed in bearded dragons. Some experts suggest that eye-closing in these situations might be an expression of contentment or trust, somewhat similar to a cat purring. However, this is still speculative, and the exact reasons remain somewhat mysterious.

4. My bearded dragon seems to be rubbing its eyes frequently. Is this normal?

Frequent eye rubbing could indicate an issue with the shedding of the spectacle or an eye infection. If your bearded dragon shows signs of discomfort or unusual eye-related behaviors, it’s best to seek veterinary assistance promptly.

5. How do I ensure the good eye health of my bearded dragon?

Monitor your pet’s eyes for any signs of discomfort, excessive rubbing, swelling, or redness. Regular clean habitat, proper diet, and correct temperature and humidity levels are also essential for their overall health, including eye health. If you observe any abnormalities, consult with a reptile-savvy veterinarian immediately.