Most bearded dragon owners want to know what colors their reptile pet can see. Unfortunately, there are some myths and contradictory claims about the color vision of bearded dragons. So, if you are confused and looking for the true facts on the topic, read this article to get a comprehensive answer to your question – Are bearded dragons color-blind?
First of all, bearded dragons are not color blind. In fact, they can see all the colors around them just like you can. Some experts say bearded dragons can actually see more colors than humans can. However, they see lighter colors better than darker colors. Hence, why you’ll see them more attracted to light-colored objects.
What colors can bearded dragons see?
Bearded dragons have a good color vision in both eyes. They can see all the colors that we humans can see. Unlike humans, however, bearded dragons have their eyes placed too off-center to get a clear head-on vision. This is why they often have difficulty seeing an oncoming object. This, however, has nothing to do with their color perceptions. Often, your beardie can see more colors than you can see. That brings us to the next question.
How do bearded dragons see more colors than humans see?
Humans have three color receptors whereas bearded dragons have four. In scientific terms, bearded dragons are tetrachromatic. That is exactly why they can see more colors than humans can.
Can beardies see ultraviolet light?
Yes, bearded dragons can see ultraviolet (UV) light. But, what is UV light? And how can beardies see them? Simply put, the wavelength of ultraviolet light is too short to be visible in human eyes. However, bearded dragons can see into the ultraviolet light, thanks to the fourth, additional color receptor they have. While humans have three retinal cone cell types, bearded dragons have four. Hence, they can see certain colors that humans cannot even perceive.
Are all bearded dragons attracted to the same colors?
Contrary to a common misconception, not all bearded dragons like or dislike the same colors. What colors a beardie finds more appealing depends on a few factors, such as its past experience with colors and what colors it used to see in its natural habitat. So, learning about your beardie’s color preferences can help you handle it more easily.
Is there a relationship between the colors a beardie likes the most and the colors it displays?
Yes, there is a relationship. Interestingly, the colors they display are often the colors they find most appealing. As you perhaps already know, when bearded dragons react to a situation, they change their colors. In the wild, they live with several other beardies. So, when one bearded dragon changes colors in response to a particular situation, other beardies living with it would see that color change and react to it in a certain way. This is how bearded dragons associate certain colors to certain feelings.
How does past experience of a beardie influence how it would view certain colors?
Some beardies love bright colors like orange and red shades, while others don’t like them. So, the beardie’s past experience with colors can have an impact on how they view the colors. For instance, if your bearded dragon had a bad experience associated with the red color, it perhaps will get stressed and irritated seeing the red color.
How can you know your beardie’s color preferences?
You can test this by observing the beardie closely. For example, you can turn on different colored lights and watch how the beardie reacts to each of them. Also, you can experiment with the bearded dragon’s food and see if it prefers the same food in different colored plates. Meanwhile, knowing the beardie’s preferences will help you calm it down when it is under stress.
Can bearded dragons see in the dark?
Beardies cannot see in the dark. Contrary to common perception, their eyes are not like cats’ eyes. Therefore, you should be careful when it comes to deciding when you want to turn off all the lights around them in the terrarium. For instance, it is always a good idea to use an automatic switch that turns the lights off at the same time every day. This helps set the biological clock of the beardies and helps them sleep comfortably. Otherwise, the beardie could get stressed and think that the sleeping area is not safe.
How far can bearded dragons see?
There is no standard distance for a bearded dragon’s range of vision. Normally, beardies can see everything within the terrarium. However, if you want you can test the rage of your bearded dragon’s vision. For that, you need to go to the other end of the room and show your reptile pet its favorite treat. If it tries to come toward you, it means that it can see in that range. In fact, testing a bearded dragon’s vision range is also a good way to identify any vision issues it might have.
Also, some beardies tend to stare at something far away. This means that their eyes can become fixated on something that is at the other end of the room. If, however, you place something closer to them, you might notice they are opening the pupil of their eyes.
Can bearded dragons see a red light at night?
Some people believe that bearded dragons cannot see red light. So, they suggest you can leave red lights, especially at night when the beardie is sleeping. However, studies show that bearded dragons can actually see the red light at night.
If you want you can also test this on your own. If you show the beardie a red image, you will notice that the beardie observes the image closely. That proves beardies can see red colors.
So, using red lights when the bearded dragon is sleeping will disturb its biological rhythm and interrupt its sleep.
How long should the daytime lights be on for a bearded dragon?
This is a common question by most beardie owners. Normally, you should expose the beardie to around 12 hours of light every day. The UV waves from the light are beneficial for the mental and physical health of your bearded dragon. So, if your beardie does not get enough lights, it may develop behavioral and mental well-being issues. Also, lack of light can trigger several other health issues in your bearded dragons, such as loss of appetite, and bone disease. In fact, UVB radiation can help increase the appetite of your beardie. So, if you feel that the beardie is not eating well, you can expose it to light.