The modern-day tuatara lived, and still lives in New Zealand.
The tuatara is a type of reptile that lived in New Zealand, during the Cretaceous period, and are still alive today. It can live for 100 years and sometimes can live longer, a record age for reptiles!
Region and genus classifacationEdit
The tuatara are reptiles endemic to New Zealand and which, although resembling most lizards, are part of a distinct lineage, order Rhynchocephalia.
Although a long lived species, because they are so small, the tuatara has many many predators. Rats are a constant threat because tuataras take a long time to lay eggs and rats will attack the egg. Wild cats are also a threat because they will eat the adults and with no one left to defend the young, the rats will eat them.
Tuatara are greenish brown and gray, and measure up to 80 cm (31 in) from head to tail-tip and weigh up to 1.3 kg (2.9 lb) with a spiny crest along the back, especially pronounced in males. Their dentition, in which two rows of teeth in the upper jaw overlap one row on the lower jaw, is unique among living species. They are further unusual in having a pronounced photoreceptive eye, the "third eye", which is thought to be involved in setting circadian and seasonal cycles. They are able to hear, although no external ear is present, and have a number of unique features in their skeleton, some of them apparently evolutionarily retained from fish. Although tuatara are sometimes called "living fossils", recent anatomical work has shown they have changed significantly since the Mesozoic era.
In Other MediaEdit
In Walking With....Edit
The tuatara appeared in Walking with monsters: episode 5, Spirits of the Ice Forest. It is also a bad guy in a game on facebook