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Animals Reptiles & Amphibians

Animals Reptiles & Amphibians

Tuatara


SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Sphenodon punctatus
PROFILE:

The Dallas Zoo is one of the few zoos in the United States that is approved to care for the rare and fascinating tuatara. They look much like a lizard, but this unique animal is in an order all to itself! Their closest relatives went extinct millions of years ago, earning the tuatara the nickname “living fossil.” The two remaining species of tuatara can be found on small islands in New Zealand, where they are threatened by predation from introduced domestic animals.

TYPE OF ANIMAL:
Reptile, Rhynchocephalia (tuataras)
NATIVE TO:
New Zealand
CONSERVATION STATUS:
At Serious Risk
DIET:
Carnivore
LIFE EXPECTANCY:
Up to 100+ years
SOCIAL STATUS:
Solitary
MORE:

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