Two little Leopard Geckos, named Leonardo and Mona Lisa, hatched on May 10 at São Paulo Zoo in Brazil. They are very healthy and lively, according to the zoo’s staff.
Photo Credits: Carlos Nader (1,2,4); Cybele Lisboa (3)
Leonardo and Mona Lisa were born after 89 days of incubation, weighing only about 0.1 ounce (3 g) each. Leopard Geckos are solitary animals, thus their parents were together only during mating season. Females can lay up to 10 eggs per season, always in pairs, with an interval of about 15 days between each laying. Incubation time varies with temperature, and lasts from 36 to 107 days.
The hatchlings are already showing different preferences for their meals: Leo prefers mealworms and Lisa prefers crickets. The biologists weigh the lizards every week, and in the first month, they gained about .03 ounce (1g). As adults, Leopard Geckos weigh 1.7 ounces (50 g).
Leopard Geckos inhabit the deserts of Asia. As adults, they have "fat" tails that are used to store energy, because food is scarce in their environment. A Gecko can detach its tail at will, and the tail will twitch for a long time to deceive predators as the Gecko runs away from danger. Although they would prefer to keep the tail and energy supply, this mechanism will most likely save the Gecko's life, and it will eventually regrow a new tail.
See more photos of Leo and Lisa below the fold.