A pair of rescued frilled dragons are settling in to their new home at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium.
The bizarre-looking lizards, which inspired one of the most famous scenes in the film ‘Jurassic Park’, get their name from their 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.
Blue Reef Aquarium’s Martyn Chandler said: “This particular pair were rescued from unsuitable surroundings and we were able to provide them with a secure new home.
“They became very popular with exotic pet owners after the first Jurassic Park film came out and we may see a similar affect when ‘Jurassic World’ is released later this month.
“One of the main species depicted was a dilophosaurus which had a retractable frill around its neck, just like frilled dragons, and could spit venom.
“Although there is no evidence to suggest the actual dilophosaurus had either of these two capabilities in reality it created one of the most memorable scenes in the film and prompted a huge interest in frilled lizards,” he added.
Frilled lizards are a relatively large member of the agamid family, growing up to 85 cm 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-neck 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 and quolls – a type of carnivorous marsupial.