Dragon Lays Eggs At Aquarium

A Chinese water dragon at Portsmouth's Blue Reef Aquarium has laid no fewer than 26 eggs.

The lizard was part of a group of reptiles which were rescued from a Welsh wildlife attraction which closed down last year and re-homed at the aquarium.

All the eggs have been moved to a special incubator where they are being monitored by staff.

"It's fantastic news that one of the water dragons has laid so many eggs so soon after arriving here," said Blue Reef's Lindsay Holloway.

"We're not sure if the eggs will be viable or not but we wanted to give them every chance and took the decision to remove them from the nest and put them into the incubator where they are safe from the other dragons and accidental damage," he added.

Chinese water dragons can grow up to 90 cm (3 ft) in length and are native to the lowland and highland forests of India, northern and southern China, and eastern and south eastern Asia.

As their name suggests they are most commonly found along the banks of freshwater lakes and streams. They are active during the day and spend most of their time in the trees or plants.

If threatened, the dragon will drop from the trees into the water and either swim to safety or remain submerged for up to 25 minutes.

A small round spot at the top of the water dragon's head, between their eyes, is known as the pineal body or the third eye. The pineal is thought to help water dragons, as well as a number of other reptiles, sense differences in light.

It is believed they use this to find the best places to bask and also to warn them when daylight is going and they need to find a safe place to shelter for the night.

Chinese water dragon eggs

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