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Baby dragons imminent after aquarium rescue

Baby frilled dragons imminent after eggs were laid Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

A rescued frilled dragon, one of a pair rescued by Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium has laid eggs for the first time. Seven eggs, which each measure approximately 2cm in length, have been placed in a special reptile incubator and are expected to hatch out in the coming months.

The bizarre-looking lizard, which inspired one of the most famous scenes in the film ‘Jurassic Park’, gets its name from its large neck frills. When the lizard feels threatened, it produces a startling display - gaping its mouth, exposing a bright pink or yellow lining, spreading out its frill, displaying bright orange and red scales and raising itself up on to two legs.

Seven eggs are due to hatch within the coming months Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

“We managed to spot our female lizard laying her eggs and were able to retrieve all seven and we think there will be at least one more batch this time round. It is important for us to take the eggs out of the enclosure as we need to incubate them in a temperature between 27-29 degrees.

“It will take around 90-110 days for the eggs to hatch out in to miniature replicas of their parents who are able to use the frill and gaping mouth display".

– Martyn Chandler, Blue Reef Aquarium
Frilled dragons became popular after 'Jurassic Park' Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

Frilled lizards are a relatively large member of the agamid family, growing up to 85cm long. In addition to its frill, which is also used for territorial displays and during courtship as well as to discourage predators, they are able to run on two legs.

The frilled lizard is found mainly in the northern regions of Australia and southern New Guinea. The lizard is also, on rare occasions, found in the lower desert regions of Australia. The species' main threats are eagles, owls, larger lizards, snakes, dingoes andquolls - a type of carnivorous marsupial.

The frilled dragon displays a distinctive collar when threatened Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium