Reptiles, Unlikely Companions

Reptiles, Unlikely Companions

Maxwell Zbytowski, Reporter

When asked what pets people have at home, most simply answer “cats” or “dogs;” however, more Americans now are finding themselves with scaly friends. Beginning in the 1980’s, exporting lizards, such as geckos and the popular bearded dragon, to the western world, the reptile industry has exploded with hundreds of new species available on the market legally and illegally through breeders and commercial pet stores. 

Though not known to be “affectionate” or “cuddly,” reptiles are still pets that deserve the same love as any other. Just with most animals, they love food, and depending on the species, most are docile and appreciate being hand fed. Certain species of reptiles, like bearded dragons, uromastyx, etc., actually like to cuddle! If they’re comfortable enough with you, they like to use your body heat to their advantage, snuggling in and making themselves cozy.

Reptiles have been misunderstood for a long time, and only now are we realizing how beautiful of creatures they are. Bearded dragons, as another example, are shown on average to enter rem sleep every six seconds. Rem sleep is something both mammals and birds engage in; it’s where dreams appear. This evidence points to the conclusion that some reptiles sleep just as we do, vividly!

They may not wag their tails or meow in delight near your presence—since most don’t have vocal chords—but this doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy your company. A lot of reptile owners report their reptile coming to its name or responding longingly to their owner’s voice after a few hours away. Lizards and other pet reptiles may be independent animals, but they still enjoy interaction with their humans.