Understanding the Holes on a Bearded Dragon’s Head

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Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles known for their unique physical features. One distinctive characteristic that often puzzles reptile enthusiasts is the presence of holes on a bearded dragon’s head. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the topic and shed light on the purpose and significance of these holes. Additionally, we will provide valuable tips and practical solutions for bearded dragon owners.

The Purpose and Function of the Holes

Below are the key functions of the various holes in a bearded dragon’s head:

A. External ear canal (tympanic membrane)

The holes located on the sides of a bearded dragon’s head are the external ear canals, also known as the tympanic membrane. These canals serve an important role in hearing and sound perception. Unlike mammals, bearded dragons lack external ears, so the tympanic membrane acts as their primary auditory organ.

Role in hearing and sound perception

The tympanic membrane captures sound waves from the environment and transfers them to the inner ear. This allows bearded dragons to perceive and interpret various auditory stimuli, including vocalizations, environmental noises, and potential threats.

How to clean the ear canal safely

It is generally not recommended to insert anything into a bearded dragon’s ear canal for cleaning, as it can cause damage or lead to infections. The ear canal is self-cleaning to some extent, and excessive cleaning can disrupt the natural balance. If you suspect an ear infection or excessive wax build-up, it is best to consult a reptile veterinarian for proper examination and treatment.

B. Gular folds and pores

The bearded dragon’s throat region, known as the gular area, features folds of skin with numerous small pores. These gular pores serve essential functions related to thermoregulation and moisture management.

Thermoregulation and moisture management

Bearded dragons utilize their gular folds and pores to help regulate their body temperature and maintain hydration levels. When the ambient temperature is high, they secrete moisture through these pores, which aids in evaporative cooling. Conversely, during cooler periods, the pores may remain closed to conserve moisture.

Preventing impaction and infection in gular pores

The gular pores can sometimes become clogged, leading to impaction or infection. It is crucial to keep the pores clean and clear of debris. Gently wiping the gular region with a warm, damp cloth can help prevent blockages. However, avoid using any harsh or irritating substances during cleaning, as it can disrupt the natural oils and cause skin irritation.

Recommended cleaning practices

To maintain the cleanliness of the gular region, you can offer your bearded dragon occasional warm baths. This can help soften any debris or shed skin around the pores, making it easier to clean. However, be mindful of the water temperature and ensure the depth is shallow enough for your dragon to stand comfortably.


Understanding the holes on a bearded dragon’s head is crucial for reptile owners to ensure the overall well-being and health of their pets. By comprehending the purpose and function of these holes, as well as the common issues they may encounter, owners can take proactive steps to prevent complications and provide proper care.

Regular maintenance, appropriate hygiene, a balanced diet, and routine veterinary check-ups are essential elements in the overall care and welfare of these amazing reptiles. By implementing the tips and solutions provided in this guide, reptile enthusiasts can ensure a happy and healthy life for their bearded dragons.

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