Popular as pets, bearded dragons or "beardies" are moderately sized lizards native to Australia. While they are generally considered good pets, even for beginner reptile owners, they do have fairly complex nutritional and environmental requirements. Special equipment and a fair amount of time are needed to care for bearded dragons properly. However, they are social, easy to tame and handle, and they show a range of fascinating behaviors that make them interesting to watch. The bearded dragon lives up to its name: Like a dragon, it’s equipped with armor of spiny reptilian scales, which include a “beard” of spikes under its chin that puffs up depending on its mood. There are eight species species of bearded dragons recognized today, all of which are affectionately called “beardies.” Among the most popular pet reptiles, bearded dragons tend to be gentle, inquisitive, and active during the day. The central bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps, is the most common species to have as a pet.