111-Year-Old Tuatara Becomes a New Dad

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Henry is a tuatara (lizard-like reptile native to New Zealand) who was living grumpily at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery in Invercargill until vets removed a cancerous tumor on his genitals, after which he became interested in the female tuataras, despite his advanced age of 111.

Henry and Mildred were seen mating last March, and Mildred laid some eggs.  After an incubation of 223 days, 11 baby tuataras hatched (see video here). 

"We basically wrote him off for the past 10 or 15 years, thinking he was going to be absolutely useless," the Southland tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley remarked rather tactlessly.

Tuataras are rare, and most live in predator-free sanctuaries, and are descended from a line of reptiles that hung out with dinosaurs 225 million years ago. 

Photo by Lindsay Hazley/Southland Museum and Art Gallery





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From the Upcoming Queue, submitted by Marilyn Terrell.


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"We basically wrote him off for the past 10 or 15 years, thinking he was going to be absolutely useless," the Southland tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley remarked rather tactlessly.

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