Scientific Name: Physignathus
Colour: Black, Brown, Tan, Yellow, Green
Life Span: 10-20 years
Predator: Snakes, Birds, Mammals
Prey: Fish, Rodents, Insects
Size: 60-100cm (24-40in)
Weight: 0.5-1kg (1.1-2.2lbs)
Top Speed: 48km/h (30mph)
Habitat: Creeks, rivers and lakes
The water dragon is a large species of lizard native to the forests and jungles of Asia and Australia. Water dragons are arboreal animals meaning that they spend most of their time in the trees, often close to a large body of water.
There are two different species of water dragon, which are the Australian water dragon and the Asian water dragon. The Australian water dragon is the smaller of the two water dragon species and is found on the east coast of Australia. Australian water dragons have powerful legs and sharp claws which help them to climb trees more effectively.
The Asian water dragon is the larger and more colourful of the two water dragon species and is found in forests and jungles throughout India, China, Laos, Vietnam, Burma and Thailand. The Asian water dragon also has a third eye (known as the pineal gland), which is thought to be able to detect difference in light.
Although water dragons are generally tree-dwelling animals, they also spend a great deal of time in or very close to the water. Water dragons are strong and capable swimmers and often leap into the water from the branches high above in order to escape approaching danger.
Like many other lizard species, water dragons are omnivorous animals eating a variety of plant and animal species. Water dragons primarily prey upon small animals such as lizards, frogs and rodents, insects and fish which they catch will there long tongue.
Due to their relatively large size, water dragons have limited predators within their natural environment, although this is entirely dependent on where the area which the water dragon inhabits. Snakes, large birds and carnivorous mammals are the primary predators of the water dragon.
Water dragons hibernate during the cooler winters and begin breeding when they emerge in the spring. The female water dragon digs a burrow in the ground where she lays up to 18 eggs, and then buries them. The water dragon young hatch within a few months and remain close to the nest until they become bigger and more adventurous.