Bearded dragons come in many different morphs. One such morph is the ‘giant german bearded dragon’.
Giant germans have taken on a mythical quality as they are rarely found. True german giants are thought to have been bred out over generations but some genes of this morph remain in captive populations.
If your beardie has giant german genetics you must know this, so you can provide the best care.
Luckily there are some ways to tell if you have a giant german bearded dragon or not.
Here are the 7 ways you can tell if you have a giant German bearded dragon:
- Size – weight & length
- Body ratios
- Blood test
- Parent tracing
- Growth rate
- Clutch size
- Eye colour
Read On to Find Out…
How to Tell If I Have a Giant German Bearded Dragon (More Info)
The above list shares the 7 ways you can determine if you have a giant german bearded dragon or not.
Let’s not take a closer look at each of these 7 methods and see exactly what they entail and how they can help you find out if you have a giant german bearded dragon…
Size – Weight & Length
“Giant german” seems pretty self-explanatory, right? This morph of bearded dragon came into existence by selectively breeding large dragons.
As a result, bearded dragons with this morph are on average 50% larger than an average beardie.
Here’s a table that shares the average size of a common inland bearded dragon compared to a giant german…
Size Of Regular Inland Bearded Dragon Vs Giant German Bearded Dragon
|Size||Regular Inland Bearded Dragon||Giant German Bearded Dragon|
|Weight||400-500 grams||850-1000 grams|
|Length||16-24 inches||25-35 inches|
The table above outlines the differences in averages of both weight and length.
If your bearded dragon is well above average in these measurements, it may have giant german genetics.
You must consider the overall body condition as well to ensure that a high weight measurement is not just a regular overweight bearded dragon.
Although giant german morphs are a lot larger than regular bearded dragons, they tend to appear to have small heads.
Regular dragons have quite a large head in comparison to their bodies. The giant german morph is mostly a lot larger in the body, while the head looks proportionally smaller.
If you have other bearded dragons you may be able to compare the ratios of head to the body to see what is normal and if your beardie is abnormal and showing this subtle sign of a giant german morph.
Experienced exotic reptile vets may have connections to laboratories that can process blood tests to determine the morph of your bearded dragons.
This is not common, as giant germans are not a common morph and not when present they are not often pure giant germans.
It is worth enquiring, you may even find an online revenue to send tests away to for this information. This can tell you for sure what genetics are present.
If you know where your bearded dragon originates from, it’s recommended you gather available genetic information from the source.
If the parents have giant german genes, there is a possibility that this may have been passed on to your beardie.
The giant german genes is a recessive gene, meaning if only slightly present in the parents, has a lesser chance of showing in the offspring.
This means even if your bearded dragon’s heritage has these genes, it may not have been passed on. But knowing it is in the gene pool will help you determine.
The range of hatchling size begins at 3 inches for both the regular bearded dragon and the giant german morph.
But breeders of the giant germans tend to have a consensus that hatchlings will rarely emerge anything less than 6 inches.
Because bearded dragons grow extremely rapidly in the first 6 months of their lives, a larger morph will show a higher growth rate.
By 6 months a giant german may already be up to 21 inches long, compared to a 14-inch normal beard dragon.
Want to know how fast a regular bearded dragon grows? Well, check out this post that provides all you need to know in a handy table…
One of the main reasons giant germans were selectively bred, were their notoriously large clutch sizes. The average clutch size for bearded dragons is between 14 – 16 eggs but can be up to 20 eggs.
Meanwhile, it is not uncommon for giant german breeders to record clutches of up to 60 eggs!
So this is favourable to those who breed these reptiles as they can be more efficient.
If you breed your dragons and one of your females lays a whopper sized clutch, looking into her genes may be considered.
Recommended Reading: How Often Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?
The eye colour of breaded dragons is varied among colours and patterns. But many owners of giant germans report that the eye colour tends to be more silvery/gold than the normal yellow/brown of common beardies.
This characteristic is not firm nor reliable but may help you build a bigger picture if your bearded dragon is ticking all of the giant german boxes so far!
Do I Have to Care For a Giant German Bearded Dragon Differently?
Many morphs of bearded dragons are different only in the visual differences but fundamentally the same animal to care for.
Giant germans are different in that the significant size difference does alter the husbandry required to care for them.
If you have a bigger dragon, you need a bigger enclosure to keep it in! Your enclosure should be large enough to create the correct environment with temperature and lighting but also have enough room for the bearded dragon to exercise and choose where it would like to be.
If you have a giant german morph you need to make sure you provide more space than a normal dragon.
This may mean you need more lights or heating equipment to maintain the perfect environment and gradient.
Head over to this article where we share our 3 favorite tanks for beardies of all ages…
Naturally, a larger animal will eat a larger amount of food.
A giant german will have the same dietary requirements as a regular bearded dragon so you will still follow the 80/20 rule of greens to protein ratio, but be aware the appetite will be larger.
It can be easy to overfed insects to a hungry dragon as it is easy and often they prefer live food over their tasty greens.
But you must maintain the correct ratios or your dragon may suffer from malnutrition from lack of vital nutrients or become overweight from overindulging in high fat and high protein insects.
Feeding young beardies of this morph will also involve extra care due to the high growth rate.
If underfed during these stages of rapid growth, young hatchlings can quickly start to have development issues that may affect them for the rest of their lives.
Part of the motivation to breed the giant german genetic line is that this morph is thought to be more “hardy”, meaning they can handle stress and are resilient to changes and exposure to poor conditions.
It does not mean they are invincible, but they seem to suffer less in times of adverse conditions.
In saying that many breeders report that they think giant germans are more prone to getting parasites.
This is likely as they eat a whole lot more to sustain such a large body, they are exposing themselves to parasites more often.
With such a large morph comes a lot of strength also. When caring for the health of a giant german it needs to be noted that they can potentially be more aggressive and a lot stronger.
Their bite will be more noticeably more powerful if you are unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of an aggressive chomp and you will need to be experienced in handling as your handling technique will be adjusted for a larger and stronger body.
Since they are known and revered for their large clutches of eggs, giant germans will also be at higher risk of the range of breeding related health issues due to this high reproductive activity and capability.
This may include a higher risk of:
- Egg binding – a lot of eggs means a chance that they may become blocked up while trying to pass out. If the enclosure is unsuitable and the female does not have a suitable place to lay, this large amount of eggs will stay and bind inside of her.
- Prolapse – passing such a large amount of eggs will result in a significant amount of pushing and straining resulting in a higher possibility of a cloacal prolapse
- Blocked femoral pores – this high reproductive ability will be fueled by a lot of raging hormones in the giant german bodies and as a result, may cause blockages in the femoral pores which may need help clearing out
What Is the Life Expectancy Of a Giant German Bearded Dragon?
Giant german morphs do not have a significantly different lifespan to the other bearded dragons, they are all the same species after all.
As a general rule, larger lizards tend to live longer. This is because they are more resilient to stressors to the body due to their size.
If cared for properly by providing adequate space and diet, giant germans may live longer on average but just like any older animal, they will still deteriorate the same way as any other bearded dragon when they get to an elderly stage.
Recommended Reading: How Long do Bearded Dragons Live?
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