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Title: Living Fossils- Tuatara : Hanging on by a Claw
Authors: Datta, Sukanya
Issue Date: Mar-2010
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract: The Tuatara is a reptile that today inhabits only New Zealand. It is the sole surviving member of a group that co-existed with early dinosaurs. Its closest relatives died out about 60 million years ago but the Tuatara manages to “hang on by a claw.”In 1877, Sir Walter Buller, a naturalist who collected specimens for the British Museum, identified a new species of Tuatara. He named it Sphenodon guntheri after Dr. Albert Gunther, Curator, British Museum. In 1989, Prof. Charles Daugherty, discovered that there are two species of Tuatara: Sphenodon punctatus and Sphenodon guntheri. There are only about 400 adult Sphenodon guntheri left on Earth. There are around 50,000 Sphenodon punctatus alive today. Sphenodon diversum identified in 1885 by William Colenso, is an extinct species.
Page(s): 55
Source:SR Vol.47(03) [March 2010]

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