How Do Frilled Lizards Reproduce?

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Frilled lizards (Chlamydosaurus kingii) live solitary lives in the trees of the wooded savannah and tropical forests of northern Australia and southern New Guinea. They are 2 to 3 feet in length, and if threatened, the lizards have colorful skin flaps that unfurl like umbrellas around their necks. Mating and reproduction is from October to March, during the wet season. They are oviparous -- egg laying -- but when the eggs are laid, the adults' part is done.

A Frilly Affair

When mating season begins, the males start acting territorial. Throughout the reproductive season, they fight, opening their frills as they sway from side to side and hiss or bite at their rivals. The males appear to use their frills to attract females as well, though there's no evidence of the females choosing mates by frill size. When they mate, the eggs are fertilized internally.

Eggs and Hatchlings

Frilled lizards typically lay a clutch of eight to 23 eggs in an underground nest. The eggs incubate for about 70 days, and if it's extremely hot, the young will be all females, but temperatures of 84 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit often produce an equal mix of males and females. The hatchlings are completely independent when they are born, and they stay together for about 10 days. Adult females can lay two clutches each year if there is plenty of food.

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