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Hyrotrioskjan's avatar

Corytholurus nesting behavior

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There are several animals which lay their eggs into termite mounds (monitor lizards, crocodiles...) but there is no species for which this behavior is more fitting than Corytholurus africanus. At the end of the rainy season the females dig a hole into one of the larger mounds until they find one of the ventilation shafts, here they place one or, in rare cases two, eggs and fill the hole with soil. Thanks to the termites which repair the wall rapidly and the constant temperatures in the mount the embryos can grow optimal.
Corytholurus live in small groups between 3 and 5 individuals and until the babys hatch all members of the group have an eye on the mound and chase away all potential predators of the eggs... and the termites. Corytholurus don't need it's venom anymore for hunting but it can be still a effective defensive weapon.

When the young dragons hatch these small symbiosis ends. Because only the mother is allowed to open the mound it may take a little before the babys are free. They use this time to consume their first meal: the termites around them.

You see here a original sized egg, a adult male with puffed-up facial sack and his 1 year old offspring, and a termite mound, already infiltrated with an egg.

More about Corytholurus
Male and female: hyrotrioskjan.deviantart.com/a…
ref sheet: hyrotrioskjan.deviantart.com/a…
Corytholurus morning: hyrotrioskjan.deviantart.com/a…
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Comments24
anonymous's avatar
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Kaijukid23's avatar
aren't those termites gonna kill the baby?
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
look from 4:00 on
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
It work with crocodiles and Monitor lizards...
Here a filmic example (it's german but the pictures speak for themselves): www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wk3mP…
Teratophoneus's avatar
sehr interessanes nestverhalten, wäre bestimmt auch was für den all yesterdays contest gewesen ;)
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
Ist mir leider erst später eingefällen, obwohl ich das Konzept schon seit einem Jahr habe :blush:
YemaYema's avatar
I love how you always think of the whole life for each of your creatures.
herofan135's avatar
You'e amazing, love all your ideas and concepts!
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
Leggurm's avatar
Leggurm's avatar
You're welcome.
Zinnorokkrah's avatar
What a fascinating and believable nesting strategy. I pity the poor predator or researcher who accidentally opens up a termite mound with one of these little guys inside it. Would the termites be a potential threat to a newborn, or would that line about all the termites going away be from the protective parents eating them all during the vigil and the juveniles cleaning up the rest?
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
The newborns have nothing to fear from the termites, in difference to ants termites mostly ignore such parasites. The parents and other members of the group feet only a small part of the termite colony while the eggs are still in the mound, they search for other termites, ants and other insects in the near. reasons for this behavior could be that they want save the food source of the juveniles because the young dragons remain at their nest mound for one or two weeks until they are strong enough to follow the adults.
Zinnorokkrah's avatar
Oh, that makes sense. So Corytholurus are nomadic gregarious dragons?
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
Yes they live in groups but I would describe them as semi-nomadic. They have a own territiry but it's huge and they migrate throw in during the year. Often they use the same mound for nesting several times.
Zinnorokkrah's avatar
Ah, interesting. A bit of a change from the other dragons, but it makes sense. If they're more common than other dragons, then it would make sense that they would remain hidden by sticking together and moving often.
DinoBirdMan's avatar
Cool!:wow: That was a nice work of yours!;)
Hyrotrioskjan's avatar
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PeteriDish's avatar
anonymous's avatar
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