When it comes to choosing a pet, many potential pet owners find themselves at a crossroads between the Horned Toad and the Bearded Dragon. Both species have a lot to offer in terms of companionship and entertainment.
In this article, we will compare the Horned Toad and the Bearded Dragon to help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the perfect pet.
The Horned Toad is a small, terrestrial reptile that is native to the desert regions of North America and Mexico. They are known for their unique appearance, which includes a spiny outer shell and large eyes. These creatures are relatively easy to care for and can live for up to 10 years with proper care.
On the other hand, Bearded Dragons are omnivorous lizards that are native to Australia. They are a popular choice among pet owners due to their docile nature and easy-going temperament. Bearded Dragons can live for up to 15 years with proper care.
What Are the Similarities Between Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon?
Both the horned toad and the bearded dragon have a typical lizard-like appearance, with a spiny body and a wide tail. They are both relatively small in size and have a predominantly carnivorous diet. Lastly, both species are able to live in a variety of warm, dry habitats.
The appearance of both horned toads and bearded dragons is quite similar and is often what confuses people. Both animals have flat, wide bodies, scaly skin, and a spiny protrusion from the head.
The head protrusions on the horned toad and bearded dragon differ slightly. The horned toad’s protrusion is long and slender, resembling a horn. The bearded dragon’s protrusion is stubby, with a beaded texture.
Their coloring is also quite distinct. Horned toads have a variety of shades, ranging from light grey, tan, and brown, often with darker markings. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, consist of a variety of colors, including yellow, red, and orange.
Their bodies also have distinct features that can aid in identification. Horned toads have triangular body with pointy, rounded scales. Bearded dragons have triangular bodies with more squared scales.
The following are some of the main features of their appearance:
- Horned Toad
- Long, slender head protrusion
- The light grey, tan, and brown coloration
- Triangular body with pointy, rounded scales
- Bearded Dragon
- Stubby, beaded head protrusion
- Variety of colors, including yellow, red, and orange
- Triangular body with more squared scales
One major similarity between the horned toad and the bearded dragon is their size. Both animals are relatively small compared to other reptiles and have similar body shapes.
The horned toad typically grows between four to five inches in length, while the bearded dragon typically grows between 12 to 24 inches in length. Additionally, they both weigh between four to eight ounces.
Their size comes with several advantages, including:
- Ease of care: Both the horned toad and bearded dragons are relatively easy to care for due to their small size.
- Ease of handling: As they are both small, they can be easily handled and are suitable for children.
- Space requirements: They are able to fit in smaller enclosures than larger reptiles, making them ideal for pet owners with limited space.
Moving onto the similarities between Horned Toads and Bearded dragons, let’s focus on their diets. While the two have different dietary needs, they both have a need for a balanced diet with a variety of proteins, vegetables, and fruits.
The diet of both a Horned Toad and a Bearded Dragon is mostly composed of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. They both require a daily dose of these protein-filled meals to stay healthy and happy.
Additionally, they both need a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as kale, collard greens, apples, and oranges.
A Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon’s diet can be further broken down into two sub-lists:
- Vegetables and Fruits:
- Collard Greens
Both Horned Toads and Bearded Dragons need to be fed a well-rounded diet full of protein, vegetables, and fruits. With the right diet, these two reptiles can live long and healthy lives.
What Are the Differences Between Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon?
The Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon are two distinct species of lizards, and understanding the differences between them can be beneficial. Let’s take a closer look at their Habitat, Diet, and Size.
Now that we know what similarities these two animals have, let’s move on to the differences. To start, let’s take a look at habitat. Horned toads are usually found in semi-arid or arid regions of the southwestern United States, such as the Sonoran Desert and the Chihuahuan Desert.
Meanwhile, the bearded dragon is native to Australia and typically lives in arid woodlands, deserts, and grasslands.
So, when it comes to habitat, the main difference between the two animals is that horned toads live in the southwestern United States, whereas bearded dragons are native to Australia.
- Horned Toad
- Semi-arid or arid regions of the southwestern United States
- Places like the Sonoran Desert and the Chihuahuan Desert
- Bearded Dragon
- Native to Australia
- Arid woodlands, deserts, and grasslands
While there are many similarities between horned toads and bearded dragons, there are also some key differences, particularly when it comes to their diet. Horned toads primarily consume small insects, such as beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, and worms.
They will also consume other small animals like ants and spiders. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, are omnivores, meaning they consume both plant and animal matter. Their diet consists of:
- Mustard Greens
Bearded dragons will also occasionally feed on small lizards, pinky mice, and eggs. Horned toads, however, do not consume these items. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that horned toads and bearded dragons have very different dietary needs.
While horned toads and bearded dragons may share some similarities, they differ significantly in size. While the horned toad is a small, flat lizard, the bearded dragon can grow up to two feet in length. This difference in size is due to several factors, including the respective habitats of the two species.
- Horned Toad:
- Maximum Length: 4 inches
- Bearded Dragon:
- Maximum Length: 24 inches
The horned toad is well-adapted for living in desert regions, where its small size helps it to hide from potential predators. Meanwhile, the bearded dragon is more accustomed to a wider variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and even dry, rocky areas.
This allows the bearded dragon to reach its larger size and gives it the ability to hunt larger prey. As a result, the bearded dragon needs more space and larger prey to sustain itself than the horned toad.
Horned Toad vs Bearded Dragon: Physical Appearance
Now that we have discussed the differences between the Horned Toad and the Bearded Dragon, let’s take a closer look at the physical appearance of each.
The Horned Toad, also known as the Horny Toad or Horned Lizard, is an aptly named reptile that is well known for its unique horned head. Its body is generally a sandy brown color, with dark blotches or patches of darker colors.
As its name implies, it has horns on its head, which can range from short spikes to longer curved horns. The Horned Toad is typically around four inches in length and has a flattened body, which helps it blend into its environment.
The Bearded Dragon, on the other hand, is a larger reptile than the Horned Toad, typically reaching up to two feet in length. Its most distinguishing feature is a ‘beard’ of spikes that it can expand when it feels threatened.
Its body is typically a light yellowish-brown color, and they have many small bumps that cover their back and tail. They also have spines along their back and tail that are often brightly colored. This helps them to stand out in their environment and also helps to deter predators.
Horned Toad vs Bearded Dragon: Behavior
As one might expect from their physical differences, the Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon exhibit vastly different behaviors. The Horned Toad, due to its vibrant coloration, is a more reclusive creature that generally spends its days hiding in rocks and burrows.
When it does venture out, it is generally in search of food, and will usually spend time foraging until it finds something suitable to eat.
In contrast, the Bearded Dragon is quite active and can be found basking in the sun, basing around in search of food, and even engaging in territorial disputes with other dragons.
They are also quite social, and some have even been observed forming social hierarchies. They can also be quite vocal and will make a variety of vocalizations when they feel threatened or excited.
Horned Toad vs Bearded Dragon: Diet
Behavior and diet are two important aspects to consider when looking at the differences between the horned toad and the bearded dragon. While their behaviors may appear similar to the casual observer, their diets are vastly different and this difference should be taken into account when deciding which of these reptiles would make the best pet.
The horned toad typically subsists on a diet of insects, such as beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. They are also known to eat fruits and vegetables occasionally. The toad’s diet can be supplemented with a variety of insects to provide a balanced diet.
The bearded dragon, on the other hand, has a much more varied diet than the horned toad. They primarily feed on insects such as crickets, mealworms, and other small insects. They also eat fruits and vegetables, including carrots, apples, and squash. Additionally, they are known to eat small lizards, mice, and other small mammals.
Overall, the horned toad and the bearded dragon have vastly different diets and this should be taken into consideration when choosing which of these reptiles would make the best pet. While both species have their own unique behaviors, the differences in their diets should be given serious consideration when selecting the right pet.
Horned Toad vs Bearded Dragon: Enclosure
The stark contrast between the Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon extends to their enclosures as well. While the Horned Toad’s enclosure needs to be warm and dry, the Bearded Dragon’s enclosure needs to be warm and humid. The implementation of these requirements is where the differences really become apparent.
A Horned Toad’s enclosure should be designed to maintain temperatures between 75-80°F and should be equipped with a full-spectrum UVB light and a shallow bowl of water.
The enclosure should be sparsely decorated and have plenty of places for the Horned Toad to hide and burrow. A substrate of sand, soil, and/or peat moss should be used to create a naturalistic habitat.
The Bearded Dragon’s enclosure should be designed to maintain temperatures between 80-90°F and should have a full-spectrum UVB light, a shallow bowl of water, and plenty of hiding places.
The enclosure should also be decorated with rocks, logs, and branches to provide a more naturalistic habitat. The substrate should be a mix of sand and soil and should be misted daily to create a more humid environment.
Horned Toad vs Bearded Dragon: Lighting
Having discussed the enclosure requirements for a Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon, it’s important to now consider the lighting needs for both species. Lighting is an essential part of providing a suitable habitat for either of these reptiles.
The Bearded Dragon needs a significant amount of light, particularly during the day, in order to properly synthesize Vitamin D3, which helps regulate calcium absorption.
Without this adequate amount of light, they may suffer from metabolic bone diseases. An ideal setup for a Bearded Dragon should include a basking bulb, a full-spectrum light, and a UVB light source, such as a ReptiSun 10.0.
Contrarily, Horned Toads do not require a lot of light. In fact, they are usually more active during the night and should be provided with enough darkness for them to feel safe.
During the day, the Horned Toad should receive a low-wattage bulb to provide some heat and light, but it should not be too intense. A 75-watt bulb should be sufficient.
Horned Toad vs Bearded Dragon: Handling
When it comes to handling, the Horned Toad and the Bearded Dragon require different approaches. Both species have their benefits and drawbacks when it comes to being handled.
The Horned Toad, for example, is a skittish animal, and it can be difficult to get them used to being handled. The Bearded Dragon, on the other hand, is more tolerant of being handled. This can be an advantage for people who are new to handling reptiles.
It is important to remember that both animals should be handled with care. The Horned Toad should be handled with caution because of its delicate skin and small size. It is also important to be aware of its defensive behaviors, such as puffing up its body when it feels threatened.
The Bearded Dragon should also be handled with care, as it is prone to stress and can be injured if it is handled roughly. When handling either species, it is important to make sure that all of your movements are gentle and slow.
When it comes to handling, both the Horned Toad and the Bearded Dragon have their advantages and disadvantages. It is important to remember that both species should be handled with care and respect. With patience and understanding, both animals can become comfortable with being handled and make great pets.
Horned Toad vs Bearded Dragon: Lifespan
While handling can be a factor in the choice between horned toads and bearded dragons, lifespan is another important aspect to consider.
On average, horned toads can live up to 10 years, and bearded dragons can live up to 15 years in captivity with proper care. These numbers can vary depending on the species of horned toad, and the age of the bearded dragon when purchased.
Bearded dragons require more attention and care than horned toads, so the longer lifespan of a bearded dragon could be attributed to the higher level of care they receive.
To ensure a longer, healthier life for your bearded dragon, they should be fed a balanced diet, have their terrariums cleaned regularly, and have access to proper UV lighting and heat.
Horned toads, on the other hand, require less attention and care than bearded dragons. Horned toads are relatively low-maintenance, so they need less frequent feedings, terrarium cleanings, and access to UV lighting and heat. However, they should still be handled with care, as they can become stressed or injured.
In conclusion, horned toads and bearded dragons both have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to lifespan. Bearded dragons have a longer lifespan, but they require more attention and care.
Horned toads have a shorter lifespan, but they are relatively low-maintenance pets. Ultimately, the decision between the two should be made based on individual preferences.
In conclusion, the Horned Toad and Bearded Dragon are two reptiles that can make great pets for those looking for a unique and fascinating animal. They both require special care, and it is important to research their needs before adopting either one.
However, with the proper knowledge and care, both of these animals can lead long, healthy lives and provide years of joy to their owners. It is essential to understand the differences between these two species to make sure that you are providing the best possible environment for your pet.
Owning a Horned Toad or Bearded Dragon can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience!