Sixteen bearded dragons are born

Sixteen bearded dragons have been born in Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium.

The dragons are a type of lizard, and it is the first time they have been bred at the borough facility.

Parents Misty and Foggy were rescued reptiles which were re-homed at Blue Reef, and the aquarium plans to distribute 14 of the new arrivals to other wildlife collections while keeping two.

Blue Reef’s Anna Etchells said: “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.”

Bearded dragon lizards are native to Australia and live in rocky and arid regions 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, and are 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.