Rights: University of Waikato  Published 3 November 2009 Download


A tuatara is a special kind of reptile. Reptiles are one of the group of back-boned animals that live on land with 4 legs. They have dry scaly skin. And today, in the living reptiles, we recognise 4 groups. There’s the turtles, the crocodilians – that’s the crocodiles and alligators and their relatives – the lizards and snakes, and then the tuatara is the representative of the 4th group. The tuatara are the only representatives of that group worldwide now, so that’s why New Zealand is so special for that.

Acknowledgement: University of Waikato