Handling a newly hatched Mexican Beaded Lizard with our Venom Defender Gloves
We are proud and excited to see a wonderful article in this month's IHS news letter.
The article reads as follows:
One of the Mexican beaded lizards have hatched at Paignton Zoo.
Two bizarre venomous lizards which secrete poison with some incredible properties have been born at Devon Zoo for the first time.
Mexican beaded lizards have powerful jaws, razor sharp teeth and a venom that contains potent neurotoxins - but it’s poison also contains enzymes that can treat diabetes. The remarkable reptiles are the latest new arrivals at Paignton Zoo - and the moment one egg hatched was captured by Zoo photographer Elliye Stobbart.
The protected lizard (Heloderma horridum) is a venomous species found principally in Mexico and southern Guatemala. Heloderma means “studded skin”, and with its dramatic black and yellow beaded body, this predator is quite a sight from the moment it hatches. A spokesperson for the zoo said animals experts are unsure why it has venom at all, but scientists have found that it contains enzymes useful for manufacturing drugs to treat diabetes.
Luke Harding, Paignton Zoo’s Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates: "It’s a good start to 2019 with another breeding success. It’s testimony to the hard work of the Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates department and all the support and investment from the Zoo that we are having such great success with out breeding programmes. The commitment and expertise of the staff cannot be praised enough and all their hard work is paying off with fantastic results such as the hatching of these lizards. It is an exciting time to be part of a fantastic team of keepers at such a forwards thinking organisation and I hop many more successes with come in 2019.”
Adult beaded lizards can grow up to 91cm (36 inches) in length. Youngsters are rarely seen, spending their early years underground.
While Mexican beaded lizard’s venom, which is injected through grooves in its teeth is highly toxic, there have been no reported deaths from its bites for 75 years. The lizards are typically non-aggressive - but Paignton’s zoo keepers will need to be careful, as most bites and poisonings have involved handling lizards in captivity, reports Science Direct.
Please note: the main article image above is a stock image and not the actual lizard in the article. Below is a scan of the original article from IHS.