Chester Zoo is celebrating a first with the hatching of seven mountain horned dragons.
Egg-cited keepers were able to capture amazing photos of the lizards as they emerged from their eggs following a four and a half month incubation.
Lead herpetology keeper at the zoo, Matt Cook said, “After waiting for them to hatch for nearly five months, it was pleasing to be in the right place at the right time to be able to watch some of them pip their way out of their eggs.”
Over their 12-15 year lifespan these animals will grow to be 20-38cm (8-15in). This is not present from birth as Cook explained, “Mountain horned dragons are a really interesting species. The ‘horned’ part of their name stems from a row of spines that run down the back of their necks and across their eyelids, which should begin to develop on our new arrivals after around six months.”
Keepers currently are unable to determine the gender of the youngsters. They are all going well though.
“This is the first breeding success we have had with this species and we’re delighted with them – the youngsters are already going from strength-to-strength,” added Cook.
Currently the species is under threat from the deforestation of the treetops which they call home. Here they wait out their day’s for an insect to walk by which will become their dinner.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo