Wild Fact #498 – Not Your Regular Dragon – Mountain Horned Dragon

Mountain Horned Dragon

Photo by Tom Oates, 2010 (Wikimedia)

Welcome to the Wednesday Wild Fact, where we will be (wow… that is a lot of words starting with the letter ‘w’) heading to Southeast Asia to play in the trees. What are we hoping to find in those trees? We are looking for the majestic and amazing Mountain Horned Dragon. I hope you are up for some climbing since the Mountain Horned Dragon tends to hang out in dense forested areas at higher elevations. I know you are always up for a good challenge so grab your boots and lets go and learn about this little dragon.

You may have guessed that this reptile gets their name from the obvious row of spines that are running down their neck. Oh and because they breathe fire and destroy villages. Clearly, I am joking about the last part. So if they don’t breathe fire, what do they do? Well, they are capable of controlling their colour variation to some degree. They are not crazy good at this like a Chameleon but it is still a pretty useful party trick. They also have a dewlap, which is just a piece of skin that hangs below the lower neck, and helps ward off predators by making our Dragon look bigger then they really are.

Mountain Horned Dragon

Photo by Tom Oates, 2010 (Wikimedia)

Okay, so maybe those features aren’t as interesting as having the ability to breathe fire. But there is something the Mountain Horned Dragon is good at that the storybook dragons aren’t. The Mountain Horned Dragon makes a great pet and is very common in the pet trade. I am guessing they wouldn’t be as common if they breathed fire. These creatures are often hardy animals that live for about 3 to 5 years. Although, most of the animals in the pet trade are taken from the wild and will often have an abundance of parasites, so make sure you get your new pet checked out by the vet right away.

Mountain Horned Dragon Fast Fact – This particular dragon has a sit and wait feeding style and will usually ambush their invertebrate prey when they least expect it. Occasionally, the Mountain Horned Dragon will head to the shoreline to catch and eat fish, however, they don’t tend to put their head under the water. I am still not sure how they actually catch their fish if they are not willing to submerge themselves. Perhaps they use a fishing rod….who knows!

That does it for today’s Wild Fact. Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you tomorrow as the week winds down.

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