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This post might dragon a bit

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This is Smaug, our feisty but fun bearded dragon who lives with Jack and Simon in Newcastle. Now, Smaug has his eye on me whilst I’m taking this picture, he’s quite wary thing being above him in case they might be a large bird of prey, such as the wedge tailed eagles that inhabit the same scrubland as wild bearded dragons in Australia. Little bearded dragons are particularly wary of big birds, so they have evolved a handy defence against them on the top of their head; they have a third eye!

This eye isn’t a true eye like the ones on the side of their head, it’s called a parietal eye. You can just about spot it as a larger, grayish scale on the top of Smaugs head. It’s sensitive enough to pick of a shadow, but that’s about it. It can’t form images. It’s larger in the baby bearded dragons because they’re more at risk of a bird attack. Thankfully I don’t keep wedge tailed eagles so Smaug has nothing to worry about, but he sometimes gets a bit fidgety if a shadow passes over him, which is why we encourage people not to stroke his head.

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