10 Adorable Facts About a Baby Leopard Gecko You Didn’t Know

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    baby leopard gecko

    About 4.5 million households own a pet reptile. Surprised? You should be.

    Reptiles often exhibit unique behaviors that can be fascinating for pet lovers to observe. If you’re considering bringing a pet reptile into your home, a baby leopard gecko may just be the right fit.

    Small and colorful, leopard geckos are fascinating creatures. These docile and gentle creatures are covered in striking patterns that help them blend into their surroundings. However, there’s more to these reptiles than their good looks.

    Interested to know about leopard geckos? Below are 10 adorable facts about these mini dinosaurs that you probably didn’t know.

    1. Baby Leopard Gecko’s Gender is Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination (TSD)

    Most animals have two pairs of sex chromosomes: XY for males and XX for females. These chromosomes help determine the gender of offspring. However, leopard geckos’ gender is not determined by a Y chromosome.

    These pests have temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). This means their gender is determined by temperature. A gene called Dmrt1 takes charge in deciding if the baby leopard gecko will be male or female.

    The activation of the Dmrt1 gene depends on the temperature during egg incubation. Cooler temperatures (around 80-85°F) or warmer temperatures (93-95°F) lead to the development of female leopard geckos. To get male leopard geckos, incubation at temperatures between 88-91°F is favorable.

    If the incubation temperature is moderate, both female and male leopard geckos can develop. Knowing about TSD is important for pet reptile enthusiasts interested in breeding leopard geckos. They can use it to influence the gender of the offspring.

    2. Baby Leopard Geckos Use Tiny Egg Teeth to Hatch

    Female leopard geckos can lay several clutches of eggs after mating. Each clutch usually contains two eggs. The eggs take 35 to 89 days to incubate before hatching.

    During hatching, leopard geckos use an egg tooth to break out of their eggs. This tiny, pointy tip at the end of their snout helps them crack open the eggshell. The egg tooth is usually temporary, falling off within one or two days after hatching.

    Baby leopard geckos measure a mere 3 to 4 inches long upon hatching. This shows their small and delicate nature. As a pet owner, ensure you give your baby gecko optimal care after hatching. The tiny, exotic pets spend the first 24 hours mostly resting before shedding their skin for the first time.

    It can take approximately 12 to 18 months for these tiny pet reptiles to reach full development. Adult leopard geckos usually grow to be 7 to 10 inches long. They also weigh between 50 to 80 grams.

    3. Baby Leopard Geckos are Like Lizards With Vocal Cords

    Looking for a lizard with vocal cords? This is the best reptile pet for you. While not highly vocal, leopard geckos can make various sounds as a means of expression.

    Some common sounds they make and their meanings include:

    • Chirping: Shows happiness, enjoyment, and pleasure
    • Squeaking: This can mean the gecko is happy, hungry, or seeking attention
    • Clicking: This means the leopard gecko is uncomfortable, stressed, or annoyed
    • Screaming: Shows the leopard gecko is scared or in danger
    • Barking: Less common but you can hear it when the pet feels threatened or in direct danger

    Recognizing these sounds enhances communication between you and your pet. You can get a deeper understanding of their emotional state. It also allows you to offer a more comfortable and stress-free environment for your geckos.

    4. Baby Leopard Geckos Can’t Eat Until They Shed

    Hatching from an egg demands a lot of energy from baby leopard geckos. During the first 24 hours, these tiny geckos rest to recover energy after the hatching process. Surprisingly, baby leopard geckos go through their first shed just 24 hours after birth.

    Since they can’t eat immediately, leopard geckos rely on a yolk sac for essential nutrients. Attempting to eat before fully absorbing the yolk sac can lead to a lack of vital nutrients. This can affect your pet’s proper development and growth.

    If you own a baby leopard gecko, don’t try to feed it early. You can deprive them of necessary nutrients and harm their health. Wait until your pet absorbs the yolk sac before introducing a regular feeding schedule.

    5. Baby Leopard Geckos are Nocturnal Lizards

    Baby leopard geckos are nocturnal. This means that they’re most active during the night. Their excellent eyesight allows them to navigate and hunt in low-light conditions.

    This feature shows their adaptation to a nocturnal lizard lifestyle. When you understand this pet’s nocturnal nature, you can schedule their interactions appropriately. As a pet owner, you can appreciate your gecko’s natural behaviors, such as hunting or exploring at night.

    Ensure you provide a suitable nocturnal environment in the terrarium for your leopard gecko. This includes:

    • Creating hiding spots
    • Creating a humid spot for a moist and cooler living environment
    • Use relatively low-powered lights to avoid stressing your gecko
    • Ensuring the temperature at night is no cooler than 65 degrees Fahrenheit

    Knowing that leopard geckos are most active at night will also help you plan feeding schedules. Focus on giving meals in the evening to align with the gecko’s instincts.

    6. Baby Leopard Geckos Store Fat in Their Tails

    Baby leopard geckos store fat in their tails, using them as built-in energy reserves. This mechanism is comparable to how camels use humps to store fat for survival in times of scarcity.

    When food is scarce, these geckos tap into the fat stored in their tails. It acts as a backup energy source to sustain them. The state of a leopard gecko’s tail serves as an indicator of its eating habits.

    If your baby leopard gecko has a straight and thin tail, it shows that it isn’t getting enough to eat. This means you should assess and adjust your pet’s feeding routine.

    On the other hand, a tail thicker than the gecko’s neck signals potential overeating. You may need to cut back on feeding to maintain a healthy balance.

    7. Baby Leopard Geckos Can Develop New Tails

    Baby leopard geckos have a unique defense mechanism known as caudal autotomy. This allows them to intentionally detach their tails when they sense direct danger.

    When threatened, the gecko’s body undergoes rapid vasoconstriction. This narrowing of blood vessels in the tail helps reduce bleeding if detachment occurs. The detached tail can twitch for up to 30 minutes.

    As a result, it offers a temporary distraction to predators while the gecko escapes to safety. While losing a tail helps save the gecko’s life, it comes at a cost. It causes the baby leopard gecko to lose stored fat.

    Luckily, they can grow a new tail. However, the regenerated tail differs from the original-usually shorter, fatter, and smoother. If you own a baby leopard gecko, try and avoid triggering this stress-induced defense mechanism.

    8. Baby Leopard Geckos Can Exhibit Cannibalistic Behavior

    Baby leopard geckos can display cannibalistic behavior both in captivity and in the wild. However, the trait is more common in captivity. To prevent cannibalism, pet owners need to take specific measures.

    Ensure enclosures are not overcrowded. This helps prevent aggressive behavior. You can also offer sufficient food to prevent hunger-induced aggression.

    Additionally, you can separate adult geckos from their young. It will help ensure the safety of the smaller geckos.

    9. Baby Leopard Geckos Have Big Appetites

    Baby leopard geckos have hearty appetites. They are opportunistic predators that consume various insects and invertebrates. With voracious appetites, baby geckos need to eat each day.

    Due to their small size and active growth, baby geckos require daily meals for adequate nutrients and energy. Despite their hearty appetites, these small pets have a more limited diet due to their small size.

    These geckos should not eat anything larger than the space between their eyes. It helps prevent impaction or choking. For young babies, small and soft crickets are preferable over larger, tougher animals like mealworms.

    While adult leopard geckos also have an appetite, they need to be fed every other day. This helps prevent obesity and health issues.

    10. Baby Leopard Geckos Can Still Climb Without Sticky Toes

    Unlike some gecko species, baby leopard geckos don’t have adhesive lamellae on their toes for sticking to surfaces. Instead of sticky toes, these geckos use small claws. They act like tiny grappling hooks for climbing.

    The geckos’ claws serve as built-in climbing gear. They allow them to grip textured surfaces such as rocks and branches. While they may not need to climb tall structures, the claws also help in digging and creating burrows in the sand.

    Remember the common leopard gecko is primarily terrestrial. It spends most of its time on the ground rather than climbing. When creating a habitat for baby leopard geckos, try to include textured surfaces like rocks and branches to allow your pet to climb and burrow.

    Take Good Care of Your Baby Leopard Gecko

    Baby leopard geckos are adorable and fascinating creatures. From their vibrant appearance to their unique characteristics, these mini dinosaurs make for good pets.

    Want to provide the best possible care to your baby leopard gecko? PetMarvelous has got you covered. We offer refreshing insights to help pet parents, so you can learn more about pet care.

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