Tuatara<<<< Back to reptiles
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Sauropsida
- Order: Sphenodontia
- Family: Sphenodontidae
- Genus: Sphenodon
- Scientific Name: Sphenodon Punctatus
- Conservation status: Threatened
- Size: 70-80cm (28-31in)
- Weight: 600-900g (1.3-1.9lbs)
- Food: Carnivore
- Speed: 24km/h (15mph)
- Prey: Insects, Eggs, Lizards
- Predators: Pigs, Cats, Rodents
- Lifespan: 50-100 years
- Litter size: 12 eggs
- Distinctive Feature: Crest along back and third eye on forehead
His closest relatives are ihtiozaurii and pterozaurii, animals that lived in Mezozoic, before the great dinosaurs.
Now, this species, from the order of Shenodontia, is the only one to survive the changes caused by the impact of the meteorite responsible for the disappearance of the dinosaurs.
After 230 million years of insect hunting in the woods, the little animal has trouble.
New Zealand biologists fear that soon there will be no females to ensure the perpetuation of the species.
Tuatara is not a very active animal during the day and rightly, considering that a copy can reach 100 years, there's no need to rush.
By night, instead, they become active, being nocturnal hunters, always looking for crickets and other insects.
When they get older, their teeth are choppy, and animals start preferring softer food like worms and limes.
Like most of the tattoo reptiles is ectoterm, which means that the body temperature depends on the outside, unable to generate its own heat.
However, the animal does not need a very warm environment to become active, the optimal body temperature being between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius, lower than the other reptiles.
A specimen of tatara may remain active even at 7 degrees Celsius to hunt at night when other reptiles are at rest, but can not fight rats or dogs, which is why they no longer live on the continent, migrating On an island where they are protected by law, but where it does not seem to work well.
Although similar to a lizard, tuatara has a unique anatomical conformation of the eyes and jaws, which differentiates it from other reptiles. It can also live at temperatures below 4 degrees Celsius, a rarity in the reptile class.
They are very sensitive to temperature when it comes to sex, because the chicken genre depends on the temperature of the egg.
At over 22 degrees Celsius, it is very likely that the chick gets out of the males, while at lower temperatures, the chances are bigger than the chick to face. So it is now that when the weather is hot, all the chickens are male.
If the animals were to occur and could migrate to higher and cooler altitudes, they could cope with the climate, but now they are locked in a limited space. As a result of this phenomenon, specialists estimate that by 1085 there will be no specimen of the female fetus.
To prevent the extinction of the species, the New Zealand authorities have recently transported 222 specimens of tatara to a lower temperature zone, where there are chances for future chicks to be females.
They also show their dorsal crests and dance around the female to conquer it. Because he does not have a penis, when the female allows it, the male performs a friction action for fertilization.
The dumbbells reach sexual maturity in 10-20 years, and when the mating season comes, the male skin becomes darker. A male named Henry, a new resident of the Southland Museum in Invercargill, New Zealand, became the father for 111 years. He and his partner, Mildred, aged 70, brought 11 chickens to the world.
Did you know that:
Tuatara is a rare reptile species, found only in New Zealand.
The reptile brain represents only 1% of the body mass