Tuatara

1831

The typical lizard shape is very common for the early amniotes; the oldest known fossil of a reptile, the Hylonomus, resembles a modern lizard. Tuatara were originally classified as lizards in 1831 when the British Museum received a skull.

1867

The genus remained misclassified until 1867, when Albert G√ľnther of the British Museum noted features similar to birds, turtles, and crocodiles.

1877

guntheri, Buller, 1877), was recognised in 1989, but since 2009 it has been reclassified as a subspecies (S.

1885

An extinct species of Sphenodon was identified in November 1885 by William Colenso, who was sent an incomplete subfossil specimen from a local coal mine.

1895

The tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) has been protected by law since 1895.

1925

Williston proposed the Sphenodontia to include only tuatara and their closest fossil relatives in 1925.

1989

guntheri, Buller, 1877), was recognised in 1989, but since 2009 it has been reclassified as a subspecies (S.

2005

Tuatara were extinct on the mainland, with the remaining populations confined to 32 offshore islands until the first North Island release into the heavily fenced and monitored Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (now named "Zealandia") in 2005. During routine maintenance work at Zealandia in late 2008, a tuatara nest was uncovered, with a hatchling found the following autumn.

2008

Tuatara were extinct on the mainland, with the remaining populations confined to 32 offshore islands until the first North Island release into the heavily fenced and monitored Karori Wildlife Sanctuary (now named "Zealandia") in 2005. During routine maintenance work at Zealandia in late 2008, a tuatara nest was uncovered, with a hatchling found the following autumn.

2009

guntheri, Buller, 1877), was recognised in 1989, but since 2009 it has been reclassified as a subspecies (S.

A 2009 paper re-examined the genetic bases used to distinguish the two supposed species of tuatara, and concluded they only represent geographic variants, and only one species should be recognized.

2020

However, a 2020 analysis of the tuatara genome reached the opposite conclusion, that its rate of DNA substitutions per site is actually lower than for any analysed squamate.




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Page generated on 2021-08-05