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Have you ever thought if there is a correlation between the size of an organism and its lifespan? Well, I had the same worry and in this article, I have researched the internet to find the truth about the number of years a bearded dragon can live.

About bearded dragons in the wild

Bearded dragons are native to Australia, where they have adapted well to the warm dry conditions in their natural habitats. A study showed that these lizards can live up to 10 years on average in the wild. Factors such as temperature, exposure to predators, and availability of food play an important role in determining their lifespan.

As pets, bearded dragons typically live longer. A study by a well-known veterinary specialist showed that these lizards can live up to 15 years or more when cared for properly in captivity. Factors that are important to consider include proper diet, level of physical activity, and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.

How long can a bearded dragon live on average?

Overall, bearded dragons are long-lived creatures with an average lifespan of around 5 to 15 years with 5 being the lowest average number of years you can expect beardies in the wild can live for and 15 being the longest number of years a beardie in captivity can live for.

In captivity, you can expect your Bearded dragon to live for about 10 years and with proper care, your beardie can even clock 15 years or more. To summarize the average, Beardies live for 10 to 15 years in captivity.

In the wild, their life is more difficult as they have to survive predators and extreme weather conditions. On average, they live for 5 to 8 years in the wild. I’ll explain in more detail below.

How the lifespan age is arrived at:

Various theories have been put forward on how cell death and regeneration impact the lifespan of any animal.

One of the most widely accepted theories is the oxidative stress theory, which suggests that free radicals play a key role in shortening an organism’s lifespan. According to this theory, free radicals are constantly produced in bodies of living organisms as a result of normal metabolic processes, and they can damage cells if not neutralized by antioxidants.

Another theory is the telomere shortening theory, which suggests that the length of telomeres (DNA repeats at the ends of chromosomes) plays a role in determining lifespan. Telomeres shorten with each cell division, and when they become too short, cells can no longer divide and die.

There is also the mitochondrial theory of aging, which suggests that mitochondria (the powerhouses of cells) become less efficient with age and produce more harmful byproducts that damage cells.

It is likely that all of these theories play a role in determining lifespan, as they all impact the health and function of cells. However, further research is needed to confirm this.

What is the oldest bearded dragon

The oldest bearded dragon was called Sebastian and he died in 2016 at the age of 18 years 237 days old. He was a well-loved pet and his owner took good care of him.

It got itself named in the Guinness World Record as the longest-living beardie. Lee-Anne who is a British citizen brought up the pet since June 1, 1997 when it was born.

What factors impact the lifespan of bearded dragons?

There are several factors that can impact the lifespan of bearded dragons, both in the wild and when kept as pets. These include

  1. diet,
  2. level of physical activity,
  3. environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, and
  4. general health.

When kept as pets, one of the most important things you can do to ensure a long and healthy life for your bearded dragon is to provide them with a well-rounded diet that meets their nutritional needs. Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they require both plant and animal matter in their diet. A good diet for a bearded dragon should consist of around 20-30% live insects, such as crickets or mealworms, and 70-80% fresh vegetables.

It is also important to provide your bearded dragon with a basking spot that has a temperature of around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, as this is necessary for their metabolism and digestion.

Bearded Dragon Life Cycle

Embryonic stage:

The bearded dragon embryo undergoes rapid cell division and develops primarily in the egg. At this stage, no visible changes can be seen from the outside but it is still possible for the quality of the developing beardie to be impacted by environmental factors such as stress.

Hatchling stage:

After approximately 55 to 75 days hatchlings that have been growing at a rate of 1-3 inches per month emerge from their eggs. This is a very vulnerable time for the little lizard, as it must quickly adapt to life outside the egg. During this stage, it is important to provide your bearded dragon with a warm basking spot, as well as a hiding place to help reduce stress.

Juvenile stage:

After 6-12 months, your bearded dragon will reach the juvenile stage. When the bearded dragon is about 7 inches, they begin this stage where they’ll grow at about 1 inch per month. At this point, they will be fully independent and should be eating a diet of around 80% vegetables and 20% insects.

Adult stage:

The adult stage begins around 18-24 months when your bearded dragon reaches 18 inches in length. At this point, their growth will start to slow down and they will only grow about 1/2 an inch per month. Adults should be eating a diet of around 70% vegetables and 30% insects.

Elderly stage:

Bearded dragons typically live for 10-12 years, but some have been known to reach up to 20 years old. Around the age of 8-10, your bearded dragon will start to show signs of aging such as a decrease in activity level and appetite. It is important to monitor your elderly dragon closely and provide supportive care such as a special diet and plenty of rest to help them live out their final years in comfort.

Although the life expectancy of bearded dragons varies depending on a number of factors, with proper care and nutrition they can live for 10-12 years or even longer.

Average Lifespan Of A Bearded Dragon In The Wild:

The average lifespan of a bearded dragon in the wild is typically around 5-8 years. This is due to a number of factors that can impact their health and longevity, including competition for food and territory from other animals, as well as exposure to predators and environmental hazards such as extreme temperatures or lack of water.

Average Lifespan Of A Bearded Dragon In captivity:

In captivity with a limited risk of predation, bearded dragons can live for 10-15 years or even longer with proper care and nutrition. This is due to the fact that they are protected from many of the dangers they face in the wild and their diet and housing can be carefully controlled to meet their needs.

Some key factors to consider when taking care of a bearded dragon include providing a proper diet, creating a safe and comfortable environment with plenty of room to move around, and ensuring they get regular exercise and social interaction.

Bearded dragons lifespan, size and vivarium temperature and humidity © RSPCA

Factors that impact lifespan:


A healthy diet is essential for a long and happy life for your bearded dragon. They provide the needed nutrients to develop the immunity required to stay healthy and strong. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and live insects will help your bearded dragon stay active and keep its energy levels up.

The diet should be based on the age or stage such as;

  • Hatchlings and juveniles need more proteins
  • Adults need more calcium
  • Elderly bearded dragons need a diet that is high in vitamins and minerals to support their weakened immune system.

Keep an eye on the color of the poop. If you see any of the following, it may be time to take your dragon in for a checkup:

-Red or black feces

-Worms or parasites

-Slimy feces with a foul odor

-Excessive liquid or runny stool

Yellow poop indicates a problem with calcium intake and is a very serious deficiency.


Regular exercise is also important for maintaining a long and healthy life for your bearded dragon. This can include providing different climbing structures or perches or allowing them time outside the enclosure to run around and explore. Exercise helps them stay active, build muscle, and maintain a healthy weight. It is also a great way for them to socialize and interact with their human companions.


Bearded dragons need a habitat that provides plenty of space to move around and explore, as well as places to hide and feel safe. The temperature in their enclosure should be carefully monitored to make sure it stays within a safe range for them to thermoregulate properly. A basking spot should also be provided so they can warm up as needed.


In some cases, pet bearded dragons may be bred in captivity to help increase their population and ensure healthy genetic diversity. However, this process should only be undertaken by experienced breeders with a thorough understanding of the specific needs of these animals. Successful breeding can also require careful monitoring of environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, as well as providing proper nutrition for the mother and her eggs.

Breeding and reproduction takes a toll on the body of female bearded dragons and female with offsprings have a relatively lower lifespan compared to their peers without offspring.


Sex impacts the lifespan of bearded dragons.

The stress of reproduction takes a toll on the female’s body, which can shorten her lifespan.

Males are more prone to developing health problems such as obesity and calcium deficiencies but on average, you can expect males to outlive females.

Environment conditions:

Your bearded dragons’ environment in the tank including the temperature, light and humidity impacts their lifespan as they influence their stress levels and production of calcium and Vitamin D.

You’ll need two different areas of your tank, cooler and hotter sections. Hot area should be around 96-110 degrees F and the cooler side should be 75-85 degrees F.

They need these two sections basking and to regulate their body temperature. If the basking area isn’t hot enough, your bearded dragon won’t be able to properly digest their food. On the other hand, if the basking area is too hot, it could cause your bearded dragon to become dehydrated.

You’ll also need additional UVA and UVB light.

The humidity in your tank should be around 30-40%. If it’s too low, your bearded dragon could get sick from respiratory infections.


Among the 8 subspecies of bearded dragons, the larger ones are more resilient and have a longer lifespan. For example, pygmy bearded dragons have a shorter lifespan compared to the popular Pogona Viviceti.

Common Medical Conditions:

Metabolic bone disease:

Deficiency in calcium, vitamin D3, or both can lead to a condition called metabolic bone disease.

This is a serious and often fatal condition that results in softening of the bones and deformities.

It is important to make sure your bearded dragon has a well-rounded diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D3, as well as access to UVB light to help them absorb these nutrients properly.


One of the most common health problems faced by bearded dragons is impaction, which occurs when they ingest something that they cannot digest properly. This can happen if they eat sand, dirt, or other small particles that can build up in their digestive system and cause blockages. Symptoms of impaction include loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. If your bearded dragon is showing any of these signs, it is important to take them to the vet for treatment as soon as possible.


Dehydration is another common health problem in bearded dragons, especially during the hotter months when they are more likely to become overheated. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry skin, and a lack of energy. It is important to make sure your bearded dragon has access to fresh, clean water at all times and that their enclosure is sufficiently humid. If you think your dragon may be dehydrated, take them to the vet for treatment as soon as possible.

Blue bearded dragon lifespan:

Also referred to as Translucent bearded dragons, Blue bearded dragons are a type of beardies with transparent spikes and scales. They have a clear blue stomach and dark black eyes.

Below is a Citrus Tiger HypoTranslucent/Blue Bearded dragon image

Citrus Tiger Hypotrans

Their lifespan is 10 to 15 years in the wild and about 5 to 8 years in captivity.

Red bearded dragon lifespan:

The lifespan of the red or orange bearded dragons in the wild is 10 to 15 years and 5 to 8 years in captivity. Below are images of two variants of red bearded dragons.

Red/Orange Hypotrans
A bearded dragon at Bon Bon Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.

A bearded dragon at Bon Bon Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.

Pygmy Bearded Dragon Lifespan.

Pygmy Bearded Dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) that are black in color are only 30cm long and is significantly smaller than other species of Bearded dragons that grow to a length of 60 cm. Pygmy Bearded Dragons live in open ‘black-soil plains’ in central-western Queensland. Like other Beardies, they are diurnal (active during the day) and not nocturnal.

Pygmy Bearded Dragons are one of the shortest-lived species among bearded dragons, having a maximum lifespan of 5-6 years. Pygmy beardies breed with Central Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) to produce fertile offspring.

How Do You Measure The Age Of Your Bearded Dragon?

As a rule of thumb, you can estimate your bearded dragon’s age by looking at its size. A newborn hoglet of less than a month in age is about 4 inches in length.

By the 4th month, your bearded dragon will be about 10 inches in length and will not exceed 12 inches in the first years.

Adults with ages exceeding 1-year measure 16 to 24 inches but it is possible to find juveniles with up to 15 to 16 inches in length.

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