I'm not sure if it was a recent ARK update/patch or if Tribe Witan, but breeding baby dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures is finally successful!

One of our tribe mates noticed this when she saw one of our gigas lay a fertilized egg on Scorched Earth. We didn't have high expectations that the egg would indeed hatch given the weather conditions, and so we weren't disappointed when it didn't. However, we did prep our little base hut with more air conditioners so we could accommodate the next fertilized egg, whether that was a giga or not. To our delight, both a tech rex and a spino laid fertilized eggs within minutes of each other, which meant we could tend to both of them at the same time.

However, egg-hatching and live babies are different challenges. Before this mysterious breeding fix, Tribe Witan had tamed several baby ovis (sheep), only for them to die shortly after birth. The first time we saw a baby sheep, we went through all of our rockarrots (nearly 1000!) to keep it alive, only for it to die anyway. There is something devastating about watching a baby animal starve to death even in a video game, so naturally I was in tears afterward. 😭 If there was any bright side, it was the plentiful mutton that came from the dead sheep, which helped us make food for other creatures' kibble, so I didn't cry for too long.

Before we tried to hatch the spino and tech rex eggs, I remembered the incident with the sheep and decided to breed small mammals first just to see if the game had indeed un-borked its breeding since we last tried raising babies. I tested breeding out on my own private server first and used jerboas, which are easy to find and quick to gestate. (Incidentally, the dossier description for jerboas happens to be even cuter than the creature itself: "Scientifically speaking, Renopila amplexus is an adorable little fuzzball and I just want to hug it forever.") I set up a taming pen for Gucci, Louis, Fendi, and Prada1, enabled mating on all 4 of them, and let them do their thing. I thought I was going to get just 2 out of each breeding pair, but to my shock, both parents had twins! Four new mouths to feed!

Luckily, jerboas turned out to be pretty low maintenance and got to the juvenile stage of childhood pretty quickly. Mejoberries, it turned out, kept all four of them alive and healthy. I raised Chanel, Kate, Coach, and Vera into adulthood without incident.

Aren't they cute little designer bags?

Back on our shared server, we decided to go ahead and hatch the spino and tech rex eggs. Lo and behold, babies Caroll Spiney and Stubby Tech were born!

Baby killing machines start off so helpless.

Just like in real life, raising children takes time and effort. You have to feed them and then perform an imprinting duty every now and then to keep them well-adjusted and alive. Luckily, Caroll and Stubby got to their adulthoods without issues: Carroll guards the oasis from kaprosuchus spawns, and Stubby watches for kangaroos that accidentally hop over the wall.