NZ Tuatara gifts. Tuatara are here… They are endemic to New Zealand. Our own little dinosaurs… The meaning of tuatara is ‘spiky back’ in Maori language.
Greg makes his artworks from resin. Greg lives on Waiheke Island, a 35 minute ferry ride from Auckland… He got inspired while visiting his friends restaurant ‘Tuatara’ in Auckland…
The stylished tuatara he makes are similar to the ones you can see on the 5 cent piece we used to have in New Zealand. Greg used this design for his own tuatara designs…
- Size NZ tuatara gifts: 31cm (12.2 inch)
- Colour: coppergreen or silver
What are tuatara?
Even though they are reptiles, they are very different to lizards, crocodiles and amphibians (frogs, salamanders).
They have a primitive body structure that supports the theory that they are one of the oldest and most un-evolved species, having hardly changed in the past 220 million years.
The scaly loose skin is soft to the touch. The variable body temperature enables them to survive in cold climates.
They live in burrows and are nocturnal, hunting at night just outside their burrow entrance. They feed on wetas, worms, lizards, millipedes and small seabirds.
An adult can grow up to 24cm in length and weigh about 500 grams.
They breed only every two to four years and lay about a dozen leathery shelled eggs between October and December.
The eggs are burrowed and then abandoned. After about 12-15 months the eggs hatch, the young using an egg tooth to break out of their shells.
From the start, the baby ones take care of themselves, but are very vulnerable to predation. They mature at about 13 years old and may live to be 60 years old.
There are two species of tuatara. The most common species is Sphenodon punctatus, the tuatara which is found on the Northern Islands.
It is thought that the Cook Strait Islands tuatara is a subspecies of the Northern tuatara. Spunctatus has a brown-white appearance. The second species is the Brothers tuatara Sphenodon guntheri which is unique to Brothers Island and has an olive skin with yellow spots.
© Info about Tuatara from
Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre