AnAge entry for Sphenodon punctatus

Classification (HAGRID: 03694)

Taxonomy
Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Reptilia (Taxon entry)
            Order: Rhynchocephalia
                Family: Sphenodontidae
                    Genus: Sphenodon
Species
Sphenodon punctatus
Common name
Tuatara

Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits

Maximum longevity
90 years (captivity)
Source
ref. 451
Sample size
Medium
Data quality
Acceptable
Observations

Tuataras are the only living descendents from the Rhynchocephalia order and thus have no closely-related species. They are found only in New Zealand. Even though tuataras rarely exceed one kilogram in weight, they are long-lived, attaining sexual maturity after 10-20 years and growing until they are 35-40 years. They probably live over 100 years [0527]. There is an anecdote of a male tuatara at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery first breeding when 111 years of age, but the age of this specimen is unverified. Tuataras appear to have a low optimal body temperature in comparison with other reptiles.

Life history traits (averages)

Female sexual maturity
4,380 days
Male sexual maturity
4,380 days
Adult weight
430 g

Metabolism

Typical body temperature
296ºK or 22.4ºC or 72.2ºF
Resting metabolic rate
0.0605 W
Body mass
430.0 g
Metabolic rate per body mass
0.000141 W/g

References

External Resources

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
ITIS 202132
Animal Diversity Web
ADW account
Encyclopaedia of Life
Search EOL
NCBI Taxonomy
Taxonomy ID 8508
Entrez
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Ageing Literature
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Internet
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