Ahead of World Tomistoma Day on 5 of August 2017 BIAZA Member Crocodiles of the World has had the first Tomistoma to hatch in the UK. Less then a year after going on show at the zoo, based in Oxfordshire, the two Tomistoma became the only breeding pair in the UK. The Tomistoma or false gharial is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red list. The species is one of the biggest species of crocodiles, yet one of the least known, making these babies incredibly special to on-going Tomistoma research. With this succesful hatching of the Tomistoma this makes Crocodiles of the World the second zoo in Europe to succesfully breed this species.
In January and February of this year the crocodile team began to notice mating attempts between the two adults. Following a succesful mating the female began to construct a nest at the end of March to lay her eggs. In order to give the eggs the best chance at hatching the keepers collected 17 huge eggs to artificially incubate them.
The eggs were then placed in two seperate incubators which were set at different temperatures as part of a research Crocodiles of the World is conducting on Tomistoma. The sex of crocodiles is determined by the incubation temperatures. In July two Tomistoma hatched after 92 days of incubation. This was soon followed by another 8 and the team is still waiting for 5 more to hatch.
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