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are bearded dragons cannibals

Bearded dragons are usually docile creatures and can become an important member of pet-loving homes. Some households could fall in love with bearded dragons enough to need another beardy in the family. One of the most common questions such reptile owners ask is – Are bearded dragons’ cannibals?

Science tells us that bearded dragons are not cannibals by nature. However, bearded dragons have been known to eat one another in certain circumstances. This typically happens due to competition over territory, food, or mating.

In this article, we’ll be looking at why bearded dragons should be in separate tanks. Also, essential info on why bearded dragons may kill each other is also in this post. Make the most of what this piece provides if you’re planning to add another beardy to your pets.

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Can You House Two Bearded Dragons in One Vivarium?

Technically, no.

If you plan to house two bearded dragons in a vivarium, it has to be temporary. Keeping two bearded dragons in one tank for too long could result in conflict that may get messy.

Also, housing dragons at different stages (adult and juvenile or baby) in a vivarium may cause nutritional deficiencies. The younger dragon may not have access to all meals required to grow. In some extreme cases, younger bearded dragons could end up as a snack for the larger reptile.

Furthermore, two bearded dragons will fight for the basking spot. This will result in one bearded dragon not receiving the heat/UVB it requires.

Finally, if you have two bearded dragons of opposing sex, the male will try to dominate the female bearded dragon, causing stress to the female bearded dragon.

Why Would Bearded Dragons Kill Each Other?

Food Issues

Food is essential for nourishment, and bearded dragons across ages need to eat for strength and vitality. Whenever there’s a shortage of food or one bearded dragons gets greedy, a battle usually follows.

Fights for food between bearded dragons could be deadly. In some cases, larger bearded dragons could make a snack out of their smaller opponent. Besides the real threat of becoming a snack, smaller bearded dragons could grapple with malnutrition, illness, and eventual death.

For Territory

Bearded dragons are fiercely territorial and will stop at nothing to defend their space. If you’ve housed one bearded dragon in a vivarium for long, chances are high that it’ll defend that tank. Whenever you introduce a smaller or bigger bearded dragon into that tank, expect conflict to ensue.

If both bearded dragons match one another physically, they may inflict injuries which could become fatal. But if you introduce a small bearded dragon to a big dragon or vice versa, the bigger reptile usually wins.

Basking Issues

Bigger bearded dragons will fiercely guard the heat lamp or any other lighting source in their tank. A larger beardy will bask in the light whenever it wants, but will prevent others from doing so.

If smaller bearded dragons can’t bask, they will suffer several bouts of indigestion. Gut rot and other serious intestinal problems could become common issues such bearded dragons face.

In some cases, the larger beardy will rest on smaller dragons to prevent them from getting any light. Don’t take this as a sign of your dragons becoming friendly. One is trying to kill the other gradually.


If you just got a baby dragon, it’s smart to place your young beardy in a separate tank. Adult dragons usually have issues with their ego, and tend to be quite particular about dominating younger dragons.

An adult beardy is more likely to hound and harass younger dragons even if they don’t eat them outright. Such unfair treatment of the younger dragon may cause illness which could lead to death.

Even if it makes sense to put a baby bearded dragon with its mother, don’t do it.

Defense of Space

Whenever space becomes hard to come by in a tank, the bigger beardy could lash out at younger dragons. Bearded dragons usually need space to move around in the tank and will attack, and even kill roomies without blinking.


Will bearded dragons eat their babies?

Most bearded dragons like being alone and see the presence of another dragon as a threat. Some bearded dragons will harm their own babies when they are in the same tank. In some extreme cases, bearded dragons could eat their babies.

Do bearded dragons get attached to their owners?

Bearded dragons develop emotional attachment to their handlers after extensive displays of care and affection. Bearded dragons may exhibit attitudes of isolation at first, but begin opening up as time goes on.

Why does my bearded dragon bite my other one?

Bearded dragons will bite each other for a range of reasons. Territorial disputes, bullying, hunger, courting, and defense are some of the reasons why bearded dragons bite each other. In some cases, juvenile or adult bearded dragons can bite humans too if they feel threatened.

Are bearded dragons picky eaters?

Healthy bearded dragons aren’t picky eaters. If your juvenile or adult bearded dragon starts refusing foods it used to eat, consult your vet. Most bearded dragons will eat most of what you introduce them to at the juvenile-adult stage.

Final Thoughts: Are Bearded Dragons Cannibals?

Are bearded dragons cannibals? You’ve got a pretty clear answer to this question from everything above. Pet owners keen to prevent bearded dragons from cannibalizing need to take correct steps to avert a tragedy.

If you plan to house more than one bearded dragon in a tank, you’ve got to watch them closely. Bearded dragons love to defend their territory, so you need to monitor the tank every time.

Whenever you notice an injury in one or more of your bearded dragons, it’s important you take decisive action. Consider housing your bearded dragons separately, preferably out of sights of each other. Giving out one of your beardy friends shouldn’t be an option, so consider buying another tank.

Swift action keeps your bearded dragons healthy and free from injury. You don’t want your reptiles to fall ill, suffer injuries, or die on your watch.