Hatching a plan for croc IVF incubator in Cairns
AN incubator that helped hundreds of Cairns couples conceive is now assisting the Far North's reptiles to reproduce.
Queensland Fertility Group in Cairns donated the hand-me-down incubator to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures eight months ago and it has already helped to hatch about 50 reptile babies, including turtles, crocodiles, snakes and lizards.
Reptile keeper Rick Lingard said the incubator was more practical and modern than their former device, and it has proven to have a significantly higher success rate for hatching reptile eggs.
"The beauty of the new incubator is its consistency in temperature," he said.
"The eggs are not over or under heated which can cause birth defects in our reptile babies. Our old incubator used just light bulbs and a thermostat so the temperature was never constant."
Queensland Fertility Group specialist Dr Bob Miller said the highly sophisticated incubator was previously used as a temporary home for human embryos during in vitro fertilisation procedures.
"When your work revolves around creating precious babies, advances in equipment and technology are always a good thing," Dr Miller told The Cairns Post.
"The same goes for our reptile friends at Hartley's and we're happy to have helped them get their reptile baby numbers up."
Hartley's relies on incubators to keep eggs warm because some reptile mums leave their nests almost immediately after laying.
Staff collect the reptile eggs in an attempt to save them from the elements and predators, and then transfer them to the safety of the warm incubator.
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