Story: Tuatara

Hatchling (3rd of 3)


This tuatara hatchling is part of a captive rearing program at Victoria University of Wellington. Hatchlings have an egg tooth on the tip of their snout to help them cut their way out of the egg. In the wild, they emerge about a year after the eggs are buried, and must immediately fend for themselves. They weigh about 5–6 grams, and need to watch out for larger tuatara, who may eat them if given a chance.

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Victoria University of Wellington
Photograph by Susan Keall

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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 1 February 2023)

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