7 Tuatara Facts
- The tuatara is native to New Zealand
- It is the sole survivor of the beak-heads which is a group of very ancient reptiles
- The tuatara is the most ancient of all living reptiles. It is even older than the dinosaurs
- It has survived for almost 200 million years
- Tuatara can live up to 100 years
- The male is much bigger than the female
- Young tuatara has a third eye. It is on top of the brain between its other eyes. It becomes covered over when the tuatara is an adult
The female lays 8 - 15 eggs in a shallow hole in the ground. The eggs are not cared for in any way by the parents. It takes 12 - 15 months for the young to hatch. The female lays eggs every 3 - 4 years
WHAT DO THEY EAT?
Tuataras are carnivores. They eat weta, moths, and beetles. Sometimes they eat small lizards and even the eggs and chicks of petrels.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THEM?
Tuataras were once found all over New Zealand but now they only survive on offshore islands because of rodents, wild cats and pigs that were introduced to the mainland.