Tuatara; Zoology/vertebrates; Western Hills, Whangarei; T204



Specimen Category


About this object

Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) mounted on imitation rocky formation, housed in glass case framed with stained wood and wooden base. A note accompanying the tuatara states that it was caught in the Western Hills, Whangarei in 1910, shot in the back and believed dead. Several hours later, it bit a pen-knife in half when someone tried to see the teeth which are very sparse. The age of this specimen is unknown.

Tuatara are reptiles endemic to New Zealand and has been protected in law since 1895. Their name derives from the Maori language and means "peaks on the back". The single species of tuatara is the only surviving member of its order which flourished around 200 million years ago.

Field Collection Date


Field Collection Place Description

Western Hills, Whangarei

Credit Line

Donated by Ray Dempster & family, Whangarei Museum, Kiwi North

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved


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