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Transcript of THE TUATARA
BY KAITLYN ZOLADZ
HABITAT & BIOME
The tuatara only exists in rat-free islands off of New Zealand. Some well-known homes to the tuatara are Zealandia, Cook Strait and the Brother Islands. The biome that houses the tuatara is the chaparral biome. The average temperature is 33- 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average rainfall is 10-20 inches.
APPEARANCE & LIFE CYCLE
Tuataras can range anywhere from a tan to a light pinkish color. They also have a crest running from head to tail. Male tuataras can live over a hundred years, but it takes 20 years from birth for both genders to become fully mature. The female tuatara can lay 12-17 eggs in one clutch. However, the eggs gestate for 12 months and take 15 months to be incubated before hatching.
STATUS AND REASONS
The tuatara is listed as endangered. This is because of the introduction of the Kiore, or Polynesian Rat. The Kiore feeds on the already slow reproducing tuatara's eggs, thus killing the next generation. The tuatara was first listed as endangered on June 2, 1970. Today, tuataras are completely extinct from New Zealand's mainland.
The tuatara is an organism from the kingdom Anamailia, phylum Chordata, class Reptillia, order Rynochocephalia, family Sphenodontidae, genus Sphenodon, and its species is punctatus.
It is a reptile, but it is not a lizard. This is because of its bone structure.
In conclusion, tuataras are and extraordinary, miracle of science and we should do everything we can to save them.
ONCE THEY'RE GONE, THEY'RE GONE FOREVER.
Predation & Diet
The tuatara's diet mainly consists of insects, due to it's unique "teeth". When the projections wear down it must resort to eating grubs. Therefore it is an insectivore. The tuatara is preyed upon by mammalian predators.
Tuataras can drop their tails when threatened to distract predators.
They also have a third eye that is belived to sense light to tell the time of day.
Tuataras, similar to sharks, and other reptiles, have a nicitating membrane that moistens their eye.
Young tuataras are diurnal to avoid cannibalistic, nocturnal adults.
We can save the extraordinary species by
continuing breeding programs and eradicating
/relocating Kiores. We can also prohibit taking
tuataras out of the wild without a scientific