Monday, 19 March 2012

Tuatara – a modern aged dinosaur


Exclusive to New Zealand, Tuatara are the sole survivors of an ancient order of reptiles existent at the time of the dinosaurs millions of years ago. Although looking similar on the outside, tuatara are completely distinct from lizards, but share the ability to ‘lose’ their tails when under attach. The tail then regenerates. They also have a primitive light-sensitive‘third’ eye on the top of their heads which is only apparent in hatchlings – thereafter this gets covered by scales. Tuatara take 15 years (±5) to mature to adulthood. After the male and female join, the eggs take 1 to 1.25 years to be laid, and a further 12 -15 months to hatch. Tuatara are active at temperatures as low as 4ºC which is much cooler then most other reptiles can tolerate. These reptiles are approximately 45-65 cm long depending on gender, and can live to over 100 years. Pretty amazing. I saw one in Sydney’s Toronga Zoo (pictured).

4 comments:

  1. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. It's a really amazing animal. I have always been facinated by it :)

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