Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From the chameleon cage...

This post could also be labeled WHAT I WAS DOING AT 1:30 THIS MORNING. YAWN.

A little after noon yesterday, our gravid (as in filled to the brink with eggs) veiled chameleon decided it was time to lay eggs. You can kind of see her to the left of the "birthing bucket." She lumbered down from the top of the cage to scout out possible birthing places. Really, the "birthing bucket" is her only option (in terms of diggable sand); she just hasn't figured it out yet. I ended up warming the sand in the microwave and that helped her decide to get down to business.

She dug a tunnel until she was no longer visible. All afternoon and all evening, I could hear her scritching and scratching away. She was in the tunnel until about 1:20 a.m. By this point, I was panicked. She'd never taken so long. She wasn't making a sound. I was convinced she'd died. (In my defense, it was late, and you know how the imagination runs wild then.)


Here's my "birthing spoon." You can see a little clutch of eggs, just waiting for me to unearth them and place them in the incubator.

I made a cup of tea and starting carefully excavating about 1:30 a.m. My house was quiet and dark except for the kitchen where I was working. Yes, I was tired, but honestly? I was just so thrilled the little mother was okay, albeit tired, sandy and somewhat dehydrated.

Guess how many eggs? Here are two hints. From her head to the base of her tail (so not including her tail), she measures about 6 inches. Each egg is about 1/2 inch in length.



14 comments:

David Cranmer said...

I'm a-betting she delivered the max.

Travis Erwin said...

If I ever eat at your house, I'm bringing my own spoon.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Travis's comment has me cracking up!

Charles Gramlich said...

Man this creature is fertile eh?

Beth said...

You're moonlighting as a midwife! I'm impressed. Truly. :)

Cassandra said...

I'm too tired to think about math, so you'll have to tell me how many eggs there were. :D

Faith Imagined said...

This is so cool! I showed my son and he loved it!

BTW, the comment by Travis is cracking me up too!!!

Barbara Martin said...

Just love these chameleon sagas with more little ones on the way.

Stacy said...

The site update looks great. Um, I have no idea how many eggs. It looks like eight or nine eggs from the picture, but that seems like a lot for a 6-inch chameleon.

Hope the little ones do well when they hatch!

Teresa said...

Congratulations on more chameleon babies, Barrie. You truly are a dedicated mother/pet owner!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Well, I'll keep posted to see the babies when they hatch!

Sarakastic said...

Times like these I wish I could do math.

kelly hayes said...

Okay, I talked to Barrie yesterday and she told me how many eggs the chameleon laid and I can't believe it! How do all those eggs fit into a six inch cameleon? No wonder she's tired and dehydrated. We humans have it easy. Now, Barrie, tell everyone how many eggs she laid.

Sheri said...

Congrats on yet another exciting event with your chameleons!

Love the new blog and all your pages at the top. Looks really great!