Your New Scaly Best Friend

If you don’t follow the Honors Program’s social media accounts you might not be aware of this, but we have a professional model who works for our program. Well, I suppose he isn’t quite a professional. And we don’t pay him so he doesn’t technically “work” for us. But, we do have a model, and his name is Tiberius, and he wants you to get to know him better.

Before we get to some fun facts about me, let me tell you my back story. My name is Tiberius, and I am a 3 year old Bearded Dragon, also know as Pogona vitticeps. My ancestors are native to Australia, and we prefer to live in arid regions; so while Iowa might not be my natural habitat, I certainly like it here! I was rescued by my mom, Melinda, from Witty Kitties in Solon, Iowa, and while I lived in the BHC for a couple of years, I have now retired to living with her at home. Now that I’m not in the BHC, I have an outdoor enclosure where I can eat wild bugs, climb, dig, and bask in the sun; it’s awesome! So while I miss living on campus with all of you, I have a great new setup that I love!

Tiberius 2

Speaking of eating wild bugs, I am an omnivore. Basically my diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamin-fortified live insects like crickets, a variety of worm species, roaches, and any other bugs that I happen to find. Just like you, I don’t like eating my veggies as much, but when I do, I prefer kale. My favorite is letting it get crispy before eating it, kind of like when humans make kale chips! I also really love blueberries, as you can see. I also like to eat succulents, so much so that I’m not allowed to live with them anymore because I always eat them; oops!

Tiberius 3

Even bearded dragons need to take baths, and we actually do enjoy water even though we tend to live in dry places. When I do take baths, my favorite thing to do is splash around for a little bit, and also dip my head under the water to get a drink. Even though I look spiky, I am actually pretty soft. After a bath one of my favorite things to do is cuddle up for a nap with Mr Frog, or nuzzle right up against people’s necks because it’s so warm!

Tiberius 1

Coloring varies across bearded dragons, and we tend to range from tan to yellow to orange to red. When I’m cold, my color becomes darker to absorb more heat from the sun. Then, when I’m warmer, my color turns lighter again. My coloration is also a way that I communicate, as well as through body language like puffing my beard, bobbing my head, and waving my arms.

Tiberius 4

Whenever you students introduce yourselves, you’re almost always asked to provide a fun fact, so that’s what I will conclude my introduction with. Although you might not guess this, I love Brittany Spears! I particularly love watching her “Womanizer” music video; it just makes me want to nod my head to the beat of the music.

Tiberius 5

Well, it was so great being able to introduce myself to all of you! I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the semester; remember, you are some of the smartest people I know! You can do this!

Love, Tiberius



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