NZP Komodo Dragons Are Born

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Summary

The first Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) ever hatched outside its native Indonesia is hatched at George Mason University on September 13; the egg had been laid 237 days earlier at the National Zoological Park. Within four weeks, a total of 13 Komodo dragons hatched at George Mason and at the Zoo, comprising the largest hatching of Komodo dragons on record, in zoos or in the wild. The exhibit had been expanded in 1990, creating a separate nesting area for the female, to encourage breeding. The keeper observed courtship activity from December 7 through December 29, 1991; on January 17, 1992 the female dug a new burrow and six days later scientists found 26 eggs in the burrow. The eggs were removed for incubation, sending ten to a lab at GMU. The National Zoological Park becomes the first place in the Western Hemisphere to breed the rare and endangered Komodo dragon, the world's largest living species of lizard.

Subject

National Zoological Park (U.S.)

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Zoogoer. November/December 1992, pp. 26-27.
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7098, "Robert McC. Adams Chronology."

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

September 13, 1992

Topic

  • Animals
  • Firsts
  • Zoos
  • Endangered ecosystems
  • Breeding
  • Zoology
  • Komodo dragon
  • Childbirth
  • Special events
  • Endangered species

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