New attractions at MCB from Prague Zoo

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Chennai, Feb 10 (UNI) The Madras Crocodile Bank (MCB), the largest in Asia situated on the East Coast Road here, has new attractions in the form of four Aldabra giant tortoises and an equal number of Caiman lizards, received from Prague Zoo.

MCB sources said the new reptiles, bred in captivity, were received under an animal exchange programme from Prague Zoo in exchange of seven Gharials sent from here.

While the Aldabra giant tortoises were found in Seychelles, Caiman lizards were normally found in rivers and streams where they feed on marsh snails.

All the new arrivals were four-year-olds.

The Caiman lizards, a semi-aquatic species, could grow upto a length of 90 cm. They feed only on marsh snails by crushing its shells with their powerful jaws and flattened teeth.

Aldabra giant tortoises were extremely large species and a well-grown Aldabra could weigh up to 310 kg.

Growth rings would be visible in younger animals at the rate of two rings a year.

Once mature, the shell surface would become smooth and even, the sources added.

UNI GV SW KP1310

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