Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium is looking after no fewer than 16 newborn dragons.
The bearded dragons, which have been hatching out, throughout the week are a type of lizard and it is the first time they have been born at the aquarium.
Parents Misty and Foggy were rescued reptiles which were re-homed at Blue Reef. All the babies are doing well and the aquarium plans to distribute 14 to other wildlife collections while keeping two for themselves.
Blue Reef’s Anna Etchells said: “It sounds like something out of ‘Game of Thrones’ but to actually witness these amazing looking dragons hatching out of their eggs has been truly magical.
“Although they are only tiny, they really are miniature replicas of their parents Misty and Foggy and are so cute!” she added.
Bearded dragon lizards are native to Australia. They live in rocky and arid regions of the country and dry open woodlands. Fully grown adults can reach lengths in excess of half a metre and weigh around 600 grammes.
They are adept climbers, spending time on branches and in bushes, even found on fence posts when living near human habitation.
Dragons have large triangular heads and flat bodies with pointed ridges along the sides. They are omnivorous, eating both insects and plants.
Their common name comes from their habit of puffing out their throat when they are angry or excited, giving the appearance of a ‘beard’.
The beard is thought to make the lizard look larger to potential foes. In the wild bearded dragons will escape from potential danger by standing up on their back legs and ‘running’ away.
Some experts also believe this behaviour is a way to control their body temperature. As cold blooded reptiles the lizards are at risk of overheating if they become too hot.
By standing on two legs their body is further away from the hot sand and being away from the ground also improves the airflow around them which assists in keeping them from getting too warm.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information please contact Anna Etchells on 0191 258 1031.