Fair warning: this is not related to bird research at all.
I’ve had pet crested geckos (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) for about four years. They’re great little animals for a busy grad student because they’re low-maintenance, not emotionally needy, and they look like tiny smiling dragons.
Last year my big female, Corusc, starting laying infertile eggs, and I decided that if she was going to be investing protein and calcium in something, it might as well be fertile eggs. So I put her together with a male, Zenith.
She only laid one clutch of two fertile eggs before it starting getting too cold to breed. So I put the eggs in a little humid box with hatching material and left them alone.
Crestie eggs are supposed to take 65-120 days to hatch, depending on the temperature. 120 days came and went, and I figured that the temperature in my room probably was too low and had killed the eggs. But they say, “When in doubt, don’t throw it out,” so I left the eggs in their box.
Last night I found this:
This little guy was laid on October 4th, 2011. He took upwards of seven months to hatch – that’s more than 210 days! I’m completely floored that he exists.
This morning he had lost his just-hatched redness.
He also has begun his first shed.
He won’t show his true (adult) colors for a while yet. I’m very curious to see what colors he’ll turn out to be. Crestie color genetics haven’t been worked out, so it could definitely be a surprise.
I’m hoping he’s a good omen for this field season!