Story: Fossils

Tuatara

Tuatara

The tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) is often referred to as a living fossil. The species is virtually indistinguishable from its 200-million-year-old ancestors. Living fossils are an enigma to evolutionists. Over millions of years environments have changed dramatically, yet species like the tuatara have remained much the same and survived.

Using this item

Department of Conservation

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Hamish Campbell, 'Fossils - Terrestrial fossils', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/9040/tuatara (accessed 28 September 2021)

Story by Hamish Campbell, published 12 Jun 2006