Current Tuatara News and Events

Current Tuatara News and Events, Tuatara News Articles.
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Montana State researcher featured in Nature for work on rare reptile genome
Chris Organ worked with an international group of scientists to sequence the genome of the tuatara, a reptile found only in New Zealand with an evolutionary history stretching back 250 million years. (2020-08-14)

Searching the ancient depths of a reptilian genome yields insight into all vertebrates
An Iowa State University scientists contributed to a global effort to assemble the genome of the tuatara, a rare reptile species native to New Zealand. The tuatara genome sheds light on the genomic structure of a huge range of species, including humans. (2020-08-12)

Dinosaur relative's genome linked to mammals
Scientists from the University of Adelaide and South Australian Museum have collaborated with Otago University, New Zealand and a global team to sequence the genome of the tuatara - a rare reptile whose ancestors once roamed the earth with dinosaurs. (2020-08-05)

NAU biologist part of international team to sequence genome of rare 'living fossil'
Northern Arizona University assistant professor Marc Tollis is one of a dozen collaborators sequencing the genome of the tuatara, a lizard-like creature that lives on the islands of New Zealand. This groundbreaking research was done in partnership with the Māori people of New Zealand, (2020-08-05)

The curious genome of the tuatara, an ancient reptile in peril
International scientists and Ngātiwai, a Māori tribe, teamed up to sequence the genome of a rare reptile, the tuatara, uncovering some unique aspects of the tuatara's evolution. The genome sequence will enable comparative studies to better understand the evolution of the tuatara and its distant relatives: other reptiles, birds, and mammals. Shedding light on the tuatara's biology will help protect this vulnerable species. (2020-08-05)

Dental microwear provides clues to dietary habits of lepidosauria
High-resolution microscopic images of the surface of dental enamel of lepidosauria, which is a subclass of reptiles including monitor lizards, iguanas, lizards, and tuatara, allow scientists to determine their dietary habits. The enamel wear patterns reveal significant differences between carnivores and herbivores, but also allow finer distinctions, such as between algae-, fruit-, and mollusk-eating species. These findings are the result of research by a team led by scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. (2019-06-21)

Climate change could devastate painted turtles, according to new study
Climate change could contribute to the demographic collapse of the painted turtle, a species that has temperature-dependent sex determination. An Iowa State University scientist is sounding the alarm about the painted turtle's future in a new study. (2019-03-13)

Bristol undergraduate reconstructs the skulls of 2 species of ancient reptile
Using two partially fragmented fossil skulls, a student at the University of Bristol has digitally reconstructed, in three-dimensions, the skulls of two species of ancient reptile that lived in the Late Triassic, one of which had been previously known only from its jaws. (2019-02-25)

Paleontologists put the bite on an ancient reptile from New England
Scientists have identified a new species of reptile from prehistoric Connecticut and, boy, does it have a mouth on it. Named Colobops noviportensis, the creature lived 200 million years ago and had exceptionally large jaw muscles -- setting it apart from other reptiles at the time. Even compared to the wide diversity of reptile species today, Colobops noviportensis had quite the bite. (2018-03-23)

Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea
Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists at Johns Hopkins and the American Museum of Natural History report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water. (2017-12-06)

New study gives weight to Darwin's theory of 'living fossils'
A team of researchers from the University of Bristol studying the 'living fossil' Sphenodon -- or tuatara -- have identified a new way to measure the evolutionary rate of these enigmatic creatures, giving credence to Darwin's theory of 'living fossils.' (2017-02-22)

Bristol undergraduate identifies Gloucestershire fossil as new species of ancient reptile
Fossils found in a quarry in Gloucestershire have been identified by a student and her supervisors at the University of Bristol as a new small species of reptile with self-sharpening blade-like teeth that lived 205 million years ago. Part of the name chosen for the new species -- Clevosaurus sectumsemper -- takes inspiration from a spell cast in the Harry Potter books. (2015-06-04)

Tracking turtles through time, Dartmouth-led study may resolve evolutionary debate
Turtles are more closely related to birds and crocodilians than to lizards and snakes, according to a study from Dartmouth, Yale and other institutions that examines one of the most contentious questions in evolutionary biology. (2014-05-05)

Oldest existing lizard-like fossil hints at scaly origins
The fossilized remains of a reptile closely related to lizards are the oldest yet to be discovered. Two new fossil jaws discovered in Vellberg, Germany provide the first direct evidence that the ancestors of lizards, snakes and tuatara (known collectively as lepidosaurs), were alive during the Middle Triassic period -- around 240 million years ago. (2013-09-24)

Slithering towards extinction
Nineteen percent of the world's reptiles are estimated to be threatened with extinction, states a paper published today by the Zoological Society of London in conjunction with experts from the IUCN Species Survival Commission. (2013-02-14)

Why are there so many species of beetles and so few crocodiles?
Why are there so many species of beetles and so few crocodiles? The answer may be ecological limits to species number, scientists report. (2012-08-28)

Iconic New Zealand reptile shows chewing is not just for mammals
The tuatara, an iconic New Zealand reptile, chews its food in a way unlike any other animal on the planet -- challenging the widespread perception that complex chewing ability is closely linked to high metabolism. (2012-05-29)

Early land plants: Early adopters!
A newly described species of a liverwort (very simple, small plants, and probably common ancestors of all land plants) from New Zealand marks a pioneering effort by international plant scientists to enter a (2012-01-04)

What can a New Zealand reptile tell us about false teeth?
Using a moving 3-D computer model based on the skull and teeth of a New Zealand reptile called tuatara, a BBSRC-funded team from the University of Hull, University College London and the Hull York Medical School has revealed how damage to dental implants and jaw joints may be prevented by sophisticated interplay between our jaws, muscles and brain. This research will appear in a future edition of the Journal of Biomechanics. (2010-09-07)

Extinct moa rewrites New Zealand's history
DNA recovered from fossilized bones of the moa, a giant extinct bird, has revealed a new geological history of New Zealand, reports a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2009-11-17)

Naming evolution's winners and losers
Mammals and many species of birds and fish are among (2009-07-28)

Predicting the future spread of infectious-disease vectors
As global warming raises concerns about potential spread of infectious diseases, a team of researchers has demonstrated a way to predict the expanding range of human disease vectors in a changing world. (2009-01-27)

Reptile fossil reignites debate over New Zealand submergence
The fossil of a lizard-like New Zealand reptile has been identified by a team of scientists from UCL (University College London), University of Adelaide, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The fossil, dating back 18 million years, has triggered fresh arguments over whether the continent was fully submerged some 25 million years ago. (2009-01-20)

Tuatara, the fastest evolving animal
Researchers have found that, although tuatara have remained largely physically unchanged over very long periods of evolution, they are evolving -- at a DNA level -- faster than any other animal yet examined. (2008-03-20)

Early land animals could walk and run like mammals, new study finds
Salamanders and the tuatara, a lizard-like animal that has lived on Earth for 225 million years, were the first vertebrates to walk and run on land, according to a recent study by Ohio University researchers. (2006-03-08)

Finding a virus is not all bad news
A technique for analysing the genetic sequences of viruses in animals is yielding valuable informatioin quickly and cheaply. (2006-03-06)

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