The Prehistoric Animal Brigade – Weekly Photo Challenge – Unique

Dear Friends,

It’s every boy’s dream to meet a real life dinosaur and I was lucky enough to have that dream come true this week…almost! I had a close up experience with some tuatara at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua.

DSCN6788

Tuatara are the only species of the rhynocephalids to survive anywhere on earth. The rest became extinct 65 million years ago around the same time as dinosaurs, and since then they have hardly changed. Because of this, they are sometimes called living fossils. Tuatara are amongst the slowest growing and longest lived reptiles, with a life span of 60 to 100 years. Today they are considered endangered, as they are only found in the wild on 32 small islands off the coast of New Zealand.

DSCN6797

 There is an active tuatara breeding program at Rainbow Springs and I saw adults basking under their sunlamps and babies catching crickets for their breakfast. They are carnivores and like to eat small animals, so I was glad to be on the other side of the glass at feeding time.

DSCN6812

Hold on tight, Mr Zookeeper.

Justin.

About these ads

8 Comments

  1. Thanks for this information Justin, I hadn’t heard of tuatara before.

  2. Do you know how closely they are related to Bearded Dragons?

Speak to me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 301 other followers

%d bloggers like this: