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Southland's Tuatara Dinosaur.

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Tuatara have changed little since they lived alongside dinosaurs, over 220 million years ago.

Tuatara are the only surviving members of the order Sphenodontia, which was well represented by many species during the age of the dinosaurs, some 200 million years ago. All species except the tuatara declined and eventually became extinct about 60 million years ago.

The Southland Museum cares for over 100 tuatara, all at different stages of development; from new born babies to teenagers, to our world famous Henry, who is over 110 years old. Incidentally, Henry holds the world record for living in captivity for over 46 years.


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Ooo I want one :) He can watch my Harley when I'm not home :)


PauaNZ, we visited Fantasy Glades too, when the kids were little. They loved the home inside the shoe - they were the right size then to climb in and out of there. That place was run by a husband and wife 'little people' but, as you say, it is no more. Nev. ♥♥♥


ulangariver, Loved reading your reply. Brought back memories of our stay in Port Macquarie around 1974, we went to Fantasy Glades (the dwarf village) and I spent ages on the computer trying to find out what became of it, its not there anymore. Nothing lasts forever, except the memories. We lived in Toowong up Mt Cootha before they built the Botanical Gardens just nearby, and we thought we had a visitor in an old log down the back of our jungle section but it could have been one of those Dragons. . . or maybe a snake?!! We loved our life over there, we bred a couple of Aussies, and still have a real soft spot for that sunburnt country. We call Australia our other home. :)


PauaNZ, though Eastern Water Dragons are more common in sub-tropical areas (Brisbane, and above), Marge and I first saw them when we stayed in a cabin adjacent to the beach at Port Macquarie, NSW. There were a half-dozen cabins there, and there were Dragons living under all of them. And during the day they would climb the wooden picnic tables on the lawn adjacent to the cabins, and 'sun' themselves on the top. We found that they were quite docile, and someone there told us they had a preference for fruit. We had some bananas with us, so one afternoon whilst sitting on our cabin deck, we tossed some slices of banana their way. Wow, did that gain their immediate attention. They loved banana. And each day for about a week we threw pieces on the lawn, about a metre (3ft.) from us, which they eagerly consumed. Eventually we were throwing the banana onto our wooden deck, about 2ft. from our feet, and they would come that close.
I had to laugh at Marge one afternoon when she went into the kitchen, and screamed. A small Dragon had gotten into our cabin kitchen (presumably looking for food) through a hole in the screen door, and was unable to get out. I got up, laughed, and opened the screen door - out he went, at express speed!
We've seen them a few more times along the north coast of NSW - they love sunning themselves on the rocks beside the beach walks. And somebody else from Queensland here on Jigidi said if you want to see dozens of them, go the Brisbane Botanical Gardens. The abundance of sunshine, plant foliage, and lots of water (ponds etc.) is a ready-made "home" for them. ♥♥♥


@ulangariver Wow, that is so interesting. We used to wander around all over the place in Oz, and saw a bit of wild life but hadn't heard of these Water dragons. I've just been reading up all about them. We saw Frilly Lizards, and another big thing like a Goanna that shot up a tree at Mt Tamborine, spotted a little turtle thing near North Haven, chatted with Kangaroos in the bush near Canberra, and swam with a water snake out in the wopwops and have never got out of the water so quickly as that time. And seen the long grass moving as something ran off quickly in an old cemetery, we didn't hang around to see what that was! We used to get about a lot, rock hounds hunting gemstones.
But I wish we'd seen one of your Water dragons, so interesting. I read that people keep them as pets. They do look so much like tuataras. :)

Thank you for the puzzle and the information. Happy birthday, Henry, hope you have many more.


Fascinating. Not dissimilar to Australia's east coast Eastern Water Dragon, with spikes on the head and back, and the long tail. ♥♥♥