The Eastern Water Dragon has been adopted as Penrith City Council’s logo. Penrith is a council area at the foothills of the Blue Mountains in Sydney.
Water Dragons are omnivorous meaning they will eat nearly anything.
Water Dragons in captivity live up to 20 years. They reach sexual maturity around 4 to 5 years of age.
A male Water Dragon can reach a length of 1 metre and weigh about 1 kg. Two-thirds of the length of a Water Dragon is its tail.
The Water Dragon’s tail is designed to help them swim. It is mainly muscle and is shaped with flattened sides, to help cut through the water like an oar.
Water Dragons dive into water to escape from danger. They can remain underwater for up to 90 minutes.
Water Dragons have a winter dormancy (hibernation). It varies depending on the climate of the region. In Canberra, they go into hibernation around Easter and remain there until late Septemeber – early October.
Water Dragons can sleep in the water, with just their nostrils protruding. In cold weather before they go into their winter dormancy (hibernation), sleeping in the water overnight, is actually warmer than sleeping in the open.
Water Dragons can eat underwater. They are often observed coming up to the surface of the water chewing their food.
Water Dragons generally go to the toilet in the water.
Water Dragons communicate by bobbing their heads, inflating their throat pouches, doing push-ups and waving their arms. This is part of the territorial behaviour that males exhibit during breeding season.
Water Dragons generally run on all four legs, but when they want to go faster they arch their backs and lift their fronts legs off the ground and run on their back-legs, like dinosaurs do.
Water Dragons are a very ancient line of lizards. They have been around for a similiar length of time as crocodiles, about 20 million years.
Water Dragons form part of the Chinese Horoscope. People who are Water Dragons are born in 1952 (Jan 27, 1952 to Feb 13, 1953). The next year of the Water Dragon will start in late January 2012. The Chinese horoscope is made up of five basic elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. This is combined with the twelve animals signs to form a sixty year cycle. So there are Metal Dragons, Water Dragons, Wood Dragons, Fire Dragons and Earth Dragons.