Story: Tuatara

Shearwater and tuatara

Shearwater and tuatara

Tuatara often share burrows with seabirds, such as this Buller’s shearwater on the Poor Knights Islands. Tuatara are carnivorous, and sometimes eat seabird chicks. Active at night, tuatara mostly feed on wētā and other insects, lizards and worms. They spend much of the day in their burrows, but will come out to sunbathe – sunlight is essential for growth, and provides extra energy for females when producing eggs.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10036778
Photograph by Rod Morris

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How to cite this page:

Charles Daugherty and Susan Keall, 'Tuatara - Life history', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 March 2023)

Story by Charles Daugherty and Susan Keall, published 24 Sep 2007