This world is full of exotic species. All of them enhance the beauty of this world. From an ant to elephant all these creatures play a vital role to balance the ecosystem. Mother Nature created all of them to serve some or the other purpose. In this article, we give you some amazing unknown facts about one of the unusual creatures called “Tuatara”.

Who is Tuatara?

Along with unique name, Tuatara also has some unique features. They belong to the family of reptiles. Their closest relatives died out during the time of dinosaurs. They are 60 million years old. That’s why sometimes they are called living fossils.

Where can you see Tuatara?

Tuataras are fond of cool weather and are nocturnal animals. You can see them only on 30 small islands off the coast of New Zealand. They are also endangered species and are protected by New Zealand Government.

10 must know facts about Tuatara

  1. Tuatara name comes from Maroi which means peaks on the back, as they have spiny crests of triangular shape on their back.
  2. Tuatara enjoys longevity. They take 15-20 years to grow up fully and can live up to 100 years.
  3. Tuatara only has babies every 2 to 5 years. The gestation period is like humans 9 months.
  4. Mother Tuatara lays her eggs in a burrow, incubate them for 13 months before they actually hatch.
  5. Tuatara feeds on insects, small birds, eggs or small lizards. They have to take care of their teeth as well like humans.
  6. Tuatara also likes to share its burrow with sea bird. Sea bird stays there at night and Tuatara at the day time.
  7. They have the third eye on the top of their heads which is called the parietal eye but it is not used for vision.
  8. Tuatara can regrow its tail if its break off when caught by a predator.
  9. Tuatara has a unique tooth arrangement like no other reptile has. A single layer on the lower jaw and double row on the upper jaw.
  10. Rats are the biggest enemies of Tuatara as they devour Tuatara’s eggs and hatchling.

Tuatara is a wild species but does not belong to lizard family. They are different from them. You can never find them anywhere else except New Zealand.