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Sphenodon guntheri

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Definition

The tuatara species of the genus Sphenodon that inhabits one small island of New Zealand, i.e. Brothers Islands


Supplement

Tuatara are reptiles of the genus Sphenodon. The common name tuatara is derived from their distinctive spiny crest on their back. They are native to New Zealand. They are however in danger of extinction because of habitat loss and predation. At present, there are only two extant species of tuatara: Sphenodon punctatus (Northern Tuatara) and Sphenodon guntheri (Brothers Island Tuatara).

Spherodon guntheri is a tuatara species of the family Sphenodontidae (and order Rhynchocephalia). It is considered as one of the oldest animals in the world and serves as a living link to ancient reptiles.1 Similar to the common tuatara species, the S. guntheri resembles the lizard in terms of appearance and the ability to autotomy. They have a diapsid skull and have two sets of teeth on the upper jaw and one set on the lower jaw. They are carnivores feeding chiefly on arthropods, earthworms, snails, frogs, lizards, and other small animals.


Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Rhynchocephalia
  • Family: Sphenodontidae
  • Genus: Sphenodon
  • Species: Sphenodon guntheri

Other common name(s):

  • Brothers Island tuatara

See also:


Reference(s):
1 Sphenodon guntheri. Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved from [[1]].