Tuatara: the Sole Survivor

Hi, Mr. Nature here, introducing you to New Zealand’s tuatara–the sole surviving member of a whole group of reptiles that died out while there were still dinosaurs around. Today it lives only on a few offshore islands around New Zealand; and the zoos have started captive breeding programs to make sure the species doesn’t go extinct.

It looks like a lizard, but it’s not. Internally, everything is different. Back in the Jurassic world, the tuatara would have had many close relatives, some of them as large as hogs. Tuataras like cool weather, and a healthy one can live more than 100 years.

I’ve heard that tuataras sort of “sing,” when in the mood, and that if you sing to them, they’ll answer. I couldn’t find any video of that: it’s something that I’ve always wanted to hear. Something that brontosaurs heard when they were here.

8 comments on “Tuatara: the Sole Survivor

  1. Ok, let me get this straight. This is a cannibalistic, three-eyed lizard that sang to Brontosaurs but isn’t actually a lizard because it has too many holes in its head. Good thing nothing unusual ever happens on your blog. 🙂

    I found this video which is informative, if you can stomach the evolutionary sermonizing. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nCyNMF9eVy8

    1. Thanks for that video; I never get bored with reptiles.
      The most obvious outward difference between a tuatara and any lizard is that all lizards have some kind of external ear, either a tympanic membrane or just a hole in the side of the head–and a tuatara doesn’t.

  2. Another amazing creature of God. Also amazing is how all these people involved in the science community mimic perfectly what they have been told is the age history of the earth.

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