As you may have seen on this blog, we own 2 bearded dragons, Rooney and Dignan. We have had both of them since they were tiny hatchlings (although they came from 2 different clutches) and raised them up into mature adults. We originally thought they were both male, but suspected maybe one, Rooney, might be a female instead. One evening, I saw them fighting in their cage, which is pretty uncommon for these two. I quickly realized that what looked like fighting was actually mating. The male had bit on to the head spikes of the female and swiveled his pelvis around to mate with her. It’s pretty similar looking for sharks and rays, which I am obviously more familiar with. Over the next month, we watched her belly grow with the developing eggs. We provided her with a nest box in her cage around that 1 month mark and sure enough, one evening she dug a hole in her box and laid 22 eggs.
We carefully transferred the eggs to an incubator, and there they sat in a warm and humid environment for nearly 3 months. We nearly forgot about them incubating in our guest room, and would only remember to check on the eggs periodically. Every once in a while, I would check their viability by “candling” them. To do this, you bring an egg into a dark room and hold it over a flashlight. If the egg has been fertilized and is developing, you will see a dark spot where the embryo is attached to the egg wall and red blood vessels radiating out from there. It’s pretty neat. Since this was our first attempt at hatching dragon eggs, and the condition of most of the eggs seemed less than ideal, I was convinced we would only hatch a couple of dragons, if that. Instead, one day I came home from work and checked on the eggs only to discover the incubator full of 13 newly hatched baby dragons!
Ever since, we have been caring for these 13 little ones. Feeding them crickets and watching them grow. Tomorrow we will say good bye to our little friends as they depart for a new home. It was certainly a fun experience and even though 13 can be a handful, I’ll miss having them around a little.