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Tuatara Products Product Info


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Tuatara (Life Cast)
LC-271 $320.00

At first glance this unique animal looks like a large to medium sized spiny-backed lizard or iguana; however the resemblance is only superficial. In fact, they are the only surviving species of a family of reptiles called Sphenodontia, with a lineage that stretches back 200-million years, and are as closely related to birds as they are to lizards (and snakes). 60 million years ago a cataclysm wiped out ¾ of all life on Earth including dinosaurs and all then-living sphenodonts ... except for this single species. Tuataras have changed relatively little since that time. These "living-fossils" possess an odd mixture of characteristics: a primitive skull structure with unique dentition and "fenestration" (openings), hourglass vertebrae (common in fish but not in reptiles), an amphibian-like brain, crocodilian-like plates on their back and tail, a turtle-like hearing structure, and, unique among species, a third eye which is light sensitive, although not capable of forming images. The species name is borrowed from a native Maori word which means "Spiny back."

Scientific Name Catalogue # Size Price
Sphenodon punctatus LC-271 13 ½" L x 6" W x 3" H 34L x 15W X 7.5H (cm) $320.00
TOTAL 320.00