Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuatara - Reptile

This is a rather unique creature and is considered to be a "living fossil." A popular/famous example of a living fossil, is the coelacanth fish. Anyway, it looks like a lizard, but is actually quite different. Scientists say that the tuatara’s closest relatives are an extinct group of reptiles that lived close to the time of the dinosaurs. Male tuataras are larger than the females.

Here are some examples of how this unusual creature differs from a typical lizard: They like cooler conditions while lizards like warm weather. Unlike lizards, they have no external ears. The tuataras have a 3rd eye on top of its head although it is not used for seeing. The bizarre third eye is sensitive to light and maybe it helps the creature better gauge the time of day, but who knows. The mystery eye has the nerve endings, retina and lens, but it is covered with scales. That is so odd.

A couple extra tidbits about the tuatara: I've recently read that they have the lowest metabolism of any reptile. Dang, that is saying a lot! When tuatara eggs get too cold, their development stops until it gets warmer again. Hmm, under bad situations, that egg is going to be waiting a long while to hatch. Anyway, I thought I'd share this interesting creature with the community here, today; cheers!

Image Credit: This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Source = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuatara

---End of Post "Tuatara - Reptile"

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