Lizards

Surprise!

We got home late last night, after a long day of travel (and to make it even more exciting, I woke up with vertigo), three different flights, overpriced airplane food, and really well-behaved children, considering they had to sit still for nearly ten hours all together, and the only exercise was race-walking from one gate to the next at the airports.

Alex and Julia said hello to all the cats, Bill sprayed water in the lizard tank, I turned on the AC upstairs, and then Bill was downstairs in the basement and I was in the kitchen when suddenly there was a whole lot of loud screeching and squealing and "MOM!  COME QUICK!

THERE'S A BABY LIZARD!"

And lo, it came to pass that yes, there was a tiny little lizard in the tank.

Remember the egg?

And how we figured it was infertile, you know, like a chicken egg when there's no rooster around?

Apparently not.

Alex was the one who noticed it.  We wouldn't have – the lights were off (they'd been on a timer while we were away), and it was dark.  But Alex was peering into the tank, looking for Cricket-Catcher, who was perched up high on the bark along the back of the tank, when he saw the skinny little green tail down below.

I hollered for Bill, and when he came up and saw the tiny little green creature and responded with an amazed expletive.  After I shut him up, we just stared at each other while the kids continued to screech excitedly.

First priority was to get the baby out of the tank so the big one wouldn't eat it.  Bill reached in and carefully picked up the tiny little baby.  They're predators from birth – this little thing opened his tiny mouth wide and clearly wanted to bite.  We moved the beta tank out of the small tank it's been in (to keep it safe from the cats), deposited Junior inside, and sealed the screen lid so he/she couldn't escape.

And then we hung out a bit and just kind of marvelled at the whole thing.

I suggested we re-name Cricket Catcher "Mary," but no, that wouldn't be quite right.

But still.  The last other lizard we had was Dinoraptasaurus, who met his untimely demise over TWO years ago, and who knows if green anoles and Cuban/Knight Anoles cross breed.

So the other possibility is that while Cricket Catcher was still at the pet store, she had a fling with another Knight Anole before we adopted her…and she's, ahem, waited all this time to lay an egg.

I read that green anoles can store sperm for up to 7 months.  But years?  Okay, maybe Knight anoles are different.  But…this long?

Bill just said he was thinking of a line from Jurassic Park – "Nature finds a way."

YEARS, people!  It's been YEARS since we had any sort of lizard with ours, and even longer since she was with any of her own kind.

And I also read, in one of the reptile forums I found, that you should leave the egg(s) lying the same side up that you find them, otherwise the little guy inside could drown.  Now, when Bill found the egg, he took it out, handled it, the kids held it, I held it, and then Bill put it back.

So who knows which side up it was when it went back into the tank.

And Bill said he nearly just threw it away that day, figuring – as so many people say on these forums – that it wouldn't be fertile.  WRONG!  FERTILE!

And then he said he was going to get rid of the egg before we left for Seattle, but with one thing and another, he forgot, and wondered if the house would smell of rotten egg when we got home. 

It didn't.

So we have a little miracle lizard.

We're not going to keep it.  Forever.  But Bill is currently putting together a temporary home for it so it survives until we find some poor sucker who doesn't know any better a loving home for it.  And the tank will (BAD IDEA, BAD IDEA) go into Alex's room, because we have enough electrical things hooked up in the reptile room living room.

And, yes, I took pictures.

They didn't come out great – he's kind of pressed into a corner of the temporary tank, and it's hard to get a good shot of him. 

But anyway – meet the baby:

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That tank above was where he spent the night. 

Just moments ago, as I was typing all this, Bill and the kids put together a new habitat for the lizard and summoned me in to take pictures.

So here are more pictures, hot off the press, so to speak.

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And, finally, the lizard in his new AND STILL TEMPORARY habitat:

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Alex has named it "Lucky."

Bill and the kids are heading out to a small, privately owned pet store to see if they want to buy Lucky from us to sell.  They're also going to get some small crickets to feed to Lucky, just to make sure it's healthy, before we sell it. 

If they want to buy it.  Because they're aggressive, Knight anoles aren't as popular as the friendlier, cuter green anoles.  So we'll see what happens.

3 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Way too funny. It looks like the lizard in the Geico commercials.
    I don’t know, Alex sure looks happy about it!

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