Welcome Baby (Gecko)

We have some exciting news to share out of the Life Science Lab! A Madagascar Day Gecko was born this summer. We have bred insects and axolotls (a type of salamander) with success, but this is the first time one of the reptiles in the lab has had offspring.

 

This was a big surprise. The first two eggs were found at the end of January and the next set was found in early March. We moved the eggs into a small terrarium. The eggs from January never hatched, so we didn’t think the next ones would either. Day geckos can lay infertile eggs like chickens do. One day Sharon Ford, a lab volunteer, noticed one of the eggs looked broken and decided to investigate. I was not at work, but I received an excited text from her. I was not expecting it!

We didn’t move the gecko but offered it some food. It has been active and climbing around the terrarium since it was born. After a couple weeks we decided to move it to a larger terrarium. It will not rejoin its parents since geckos are solitary creatures and males can be aggressive and territorial around each other in a confined space.

 

You can visit the geckos and other reptiles when the Life Science Lab reopens in January. The lab is currently closed to make room for The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes.

Here are some fun facts about the Madagascar Day Gecko

  • Adult day geckos can reach up to 10 inches in length
  • Day geckos have toes with broad, well-developed, adhesive lamellae that enable them to climb on smooth surfaces
  • They feed on arthropods such as crabs, insects and spiders and will also eat fruit and nectar 
  • Day geckos will live about 15 years in captivity
  • Female geckos will lay two eggs at a time several times throughout the year, which must incubate for 47-82 days in order to hatch
  • Day geckos will vocalize with sounds ranging from squeaks and clicks to croaks and barks



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