Komodo Dragon

Watch Out! Feisty Komodo Dragons Hatch at Memphis Zoo

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It’s been a long wait, but the last of the Komodo Dragon clutch at Memphis Zoo in Tennessee has finally hatched! 

Norberta, the nine-year-old mother, laid a clutch of eggs last May. The first eggs started to hatch on January 2nd, and three weeks later the zoo had sixteen healthy babies.

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Photo Credits: Karen Pulfer Focht

This is the third time in little less than a year that Memphis Zoo has successfully hatched Komodo Dragons. These babies represent a joint conservation effort between zoos: the mother, Norberta, was loaned to Memphis Zoo in 2007 for breeding purposes. The babies will all go to different zoos. They may get some display time at Memphis Zoo before they move on to their new homes.

Although a mother Komodo Dragon incubates her eggs for around nine months in the wild, the babies are on their own once hatched. "They'll bite, first day out of the egg," said Chris Baker, assistant curator of reptiles for the Memphis Zoo. "She'll eat them if she can catch them. When they hatch out of the egg, they have to be ready to go right then."

Learn more after the fold.

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Komodo Kool: Baby Lizard Hatches in Memphis

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A baby Komodo dragon hatched on October 8 at the Memphis Zoo for the first time in the Zoo's history. Zoo keepers still don’t know the sex of the lizard, who weighed just 99 grams when it was born, after 222 days of incubation. Komodo Dragons are the world’s largest lizard species; once grown they can weigh up to 250 pounds.

“We’ll keep the baby until it measures about three to four feet in length,” said Dr. Steve Reichling, the zoo’s curator of reptiles and amphibians. “Then, we will most likely send it to another institution based on Species Survival Plan recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”

The lizard was the first born at the zoo.

“This was the culmination of over a decade of hard work by the animal staff,” said Reichling. “This hatchling is the start of what we expect will be a very successful Komodo dragon breeding program.”

The animal’s mother, an eight-year-old named “Norberta,” laid eight eggs in February, only one of which was fertile. However, zookeepers aren’t sure which of the zoo’s two male dragons are responsible. In fact, a zoo spokesperson said it’s possible that neither “Jeff” nor “Voltron” is a proud papa.

“It is also possible for female komodo dragons to fertilize their own eggs through a process known as parthenogenesis,” a spokesperson said in a written statement. “This form of reproduction has been documented several times in captive dragons.”

The zoo says it will determine paternity and name the baby lizard before the end of the year.

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Photo Credit: Memphis Zoo

 


Eight Little Komodo Dragons To Winter at Phoenix Zoo

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The Phoenix Zoo has just recieved eight Komodo dragon babies on loan from the Los Angeles Zoo. Four males and four females, all from the same clutch, hatched between August 6 and August 11. They weigh about 5 ounces each.

Komodo dragons are the largest living species of lizard and can grow larger than 10 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds. To get an idea of how large these little guys can grow up to be, they can be compared to the zoo's two adult Komodos: Gaia, a 15-year-old female and her brother Ivan. Gaia is 7 feet long and weighs 75 pounds while Ivan weighs in at approximately 120 pounds and is 8 feet long.

The babies will be on display starting Saturday and will be in Phoenix through the spring.

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Photo Credits: The Phoenix Zoo, Egg Photo Credit: Ian Recchio

 

 


Denver Hatches Dragons in Time for Halloween!

As Halloween draws near, Denver Zoo is hatching dragons! Komodo Dragons, that is. Four have already hatched and four more eggs remain in an incubator. The hatchlings began emerging from their shells a week ago. They are all behind-the-scenes now, but visitors should be able to see them in Tropical Discovery’s nursery in time for the zoo’s Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo.

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A Komodo Dragon hatchling emerges from its shell (Below)

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Photo Credit: Dave Parsons/Denver Zoo

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Golden Girl Goes for Dragons!

On August 8, the first of 22 Komodos hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo.  Over the course of the next 11 days, 21 additional Komodos hatched.  Several of the young Komodos that hatched at the Zoo are currently exploring their newly renovated exhibit in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.

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CAPTION: Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) Trustee Betty White and Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians Ian Recchio pose with a Komodo dragon hatchling at the Los Angeles Zoo on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, prior to releasing the hatchlings into their newly renovated exhibit located in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo.  Photo Credit: Tad Motoyama.

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L.A. Celebrates the Hatching of 22 Dragons!

On August 8, 2010 the first of 22 Komodo dragons hatched at the L.A. Zoo.  Over the course of the next 11 days, 21 additional Komodos hatched.

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Lima, the Zoo’s female Komodo dragon, laid 23 eggs back in January so hatching 22 was a huge success!. Fewer than 10 zoos in North America have been able to breed Komodos; this marks the L.A. Zoo’s first success at breeding them.

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Photo Credits: Tad Motoyama / L.A. Zoo

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The Mighty Komodo Dragon... at Its Tiniest

The Singapore Zoo has hatched the first baby Komodo Dragon in it's 34 year history. Here you get a rare glimpse at the world's heaviest lizard at it's very smallest: just hatched! At this size the apex predator of the the Indonesian isles looks pretty harmless but in adulthood wild Komodo Dragons grow up to 10ft long and eat deer or even buffalo! 

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