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Phylogeny is fun. Tuatara. Tuataras are lizardlike animals that are the only surviving species of an ancient group of reptiles. -This is a distinctive trait of amphisbaenidae. -Lepidosauria: squamata (snakes and lizards) and rhynchocephalia (tuatara)-Archosauria: crocodiles and birds. That was when this bizarre creature shared its last common ancestor with other reptiles before it evolved further and diverged. Tuatara were named by the Māori for the spiny ‘peaks’ that run along their backs, but perhaps their most intriguing feature is the third eye that sits on the top their head. The two species of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus and S. guntheri) are the only remaining species from a once diverse group of reptiles called Rhynchcephalia.Once upon a time, different species from this group inhabited land, trees and water. Dinosaurs, including birds, are also definitely reptiles. Tuatara are reptiles endemic to New Zealand.Although resembling most lizards, they are part of a distinct lineage, the order Rhynchocephalia. The Tuatara is a reptile of the family Sphenodontidae, endemic to New Zealand. It used to be one of of several Rhynocephalia species that crawled across the antediluvian continent of Gondwana, but is now the only one that remains. -Lepidosaurs are the sister group to archosaurs, -They are active at low body temperatures, -The squamata and rhynchocephalia last shared a common ancestor 250 million years ago, -160 species, over half of which are found in Madagascar, -Function: thermoregulation and expression, Geckos can stick to almost any surface...Explain (5), -Exception: Teflon, which is what non-stick pans are coated in, How can you tell the difference between skinks and salamanders? There were once as many as 24 different genera of tuataras, … The tuatara is old. 250 million years old. The two species of tuatara are the only surviving members of the Sphenodontians who flourished around 200 million years ago. -Skink is lizard vs. slimy salamander is amphibian. Tuataras are definitely reptiles. Rhynchocephalia (4)-Tuatara-Has a single family called sphenodontidae-May be represented by two extant species of tuatara, which are found in New Zealand Because their closest relatives died out millions of years ago, tuataras are often described as “living fossils.” Tuataras can live in much cooler places than most other reptiles, and they remain active in temperatures as low as 50°F (10°C). This eye is known as a parietal eye – it’s far more primitive than a regular eye, but it still has a lens and a retina, and is photosensitive, meaning it … Of all the other reptiles, the tuataras are most closely related to snakes and lizards. Today, tuatara are the least diverse reptile group, with only one living species, Sphenodon punctatus; however, they were once more widespread and diverse than they are today, spanning Europe, Africa, South America and Madagascar.. (6). The tuataras resemble lizards, but are equally related to lizards … Tuataras are a rare family of reptiles restricted to the rocky islands off the coast of New Zealand. The single species of tuatara is the only surviving member of its order, which flourished around 200 million years ago. Tuataras are lepidosaurs, as you can see, making them closely related to lizards and snakes. Now they are only found in a few forests of New Zealand. Their name derives from the Māori language, and means "peaks on the back".
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