Hatteria features and habitat
There are people who are either not familiar with hatteria, or mistakenly consider this species to be reptiles by lizards, but this is completely not so.
Get to know hatteria or second name reptile tuatara - Reptile surviving the era of dinosaurs. In New Zealand, in the northern part, there are islands whose shores are rocky surfaces.
These islands are connected by a small strait connecting the North and South islands. In this not very comfortable place on earth inhabit reptiles - three-eyed hatteriaforming squad.
It should be noted that the view of the islands on which hatteria live gloomy. The islands are surrounded by thick mists from all sides, and cold lead waves break on the rocky shores. The flora in these places is scarce, and there are few vertebrate reptiles and birds in this area.
At this time, all animals, including domestic ones, were taken out of the islands and most of the rodents were destroyed, which caused enormous damage by eating the eggs of the hatteria and young offspring of the Tuatar.
Currently, the New Zealand government has protected the amazing reptiles called "living fossils". As a result, it was possible to stop the extinction of these species of reptiles and increase their numbers.
Today, the population of hatteria totals at least 100 thousand individuals. A zoo in Australia has joined this movement, and now on its territory you can also see interesting animals originating from the time of the dinosaurs.
To the question: "Why are hatteria called living fossils?? "Experts say that hatteria has the right to be called living fossil and all because reptile belongs to relict species of reptiles, whose age is more than 200 million years.
In appearance, the hatteria remotely resembles an iguana. The internal structure of them looks like a snake, something is taken from turtles and crocodiles, even there are elements of fish, and most surprisingly they have organs, the structure of which was the oldest dinosaur species.
From large representatives hatteria lizardsFirst of all, it has a unique skull structure. An interesting feature is the jaw located at the top, the sky and the upper part of the skull.
The described parts of the reptile can move separately from the inner part of the skull, where the brain of the tuatars is located. On this photo hateria You can well consider and compare it with lizard.
Even a male cannot boast of body size, because hatteria - animal the size from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose is only 0.7 meters, and the mass does not exceed 1000 g.
On the back, along the ridge runs a ridge consisting of triangular-shaped plates. What is interesting is that it was this crest that gave the name "tuatara", because in translation this word means "prickly".
Body animal the scales are greenish shaded with an admixture of gray, also hatteria there are legs that are short, but very powerful and have a long tail. A distinctive feature of tuatars is the presence of a third eye - the parietal eye, located on the occipital region. On a photowhere an adult is posing, you can see the unique structure hatteria.
Just do not try to look at the third eye in the photograph of an adult reptile, because this organ can only be clearly seen in young animals. The third eye in appearance looks like a small spot, surrounded on all sides by scales, but the unusual eye has a crystalline lens, and there are cells in the structure that respond to light, but the organ does not have muscles to help focus the position.
When young hatteria grow up, their third eye is covered with a skin integument and it is not possible to consider it. As a result of numerous experiments, experts came to the conclusion that the third eye is an organ that is not visual, but it is capable of perceiving heat and light radiation.
The nature and lifestyle of the hatteria
Hatteria - A reptile leading a nocturnal lifestyle. Actively behaves at temperatures no higher than +8 ºС. All metabolic processes and life cycles of all species of hatteria, which, by the way, are only two occurring slowly, even breathing in reptiles is slower - at least 7 seconds elapse between inhalation and exhalation.
Hatteria will not die even if she does not take a single breath within 60 minutes. Beak-headed Hatteria They are not indifferent to water, they love water procedures. It should be noted that they are excellent swimmers. But the runners from them are useless, short legs are not provided for marathons.
Tuatara is a unique reptile that can make sounds. The nocturnal silence of the hatteria habitats is often disturbed by their hoarse voices. An interesting feature of this species. reptile thing is hatteria arranges a home in the nests of petrels - birds that inhabit the islands of New Zealand.
Birds, of course, are unhappy with such impudent behavior of reptiles, but they have nothing left to do but give up housing and get away. Initially, experts believed that cohabitation of birds and hatteria was possible, but after observations it became clear that reptiles ruined the petrels' nests during the nesting period.
As mentioned earlier, tuatara is inactive during the day, and it hides from predators in the daytime. With the onset of night, the hatteria goes hunting. Diet detachment beak heads includes snails, various types of insects, earthworms, and sometimes hatteria allows himself to taste the meat of young chicks of petrels, which happens infrequently.
Breeding and longevity
The entire winter period - from the middle of the first spring month to mid-August, beakheads are carried out in hibernation. In the spring, this species of reptiles begins a breeding season.
It is worth recalling that the height of the mating season falls by our standards in January, but in New Zealand at this time spring comes. The reptile becomes sexually mature by the age of 20, almost like our people.
A pregnant female walks for almost 10 months. The female is capable of laying up to 15 eggs. She carefully burrows her eggs in burrows and leaves them there for the entire incubation period, which lasts 15 months. Such a period is not unusual for any known reptile species.
The biological feature, which is the slow pace of vital processes, allows the hatteria to live long. Very often, these reptiles live to the centenary.
The secret of longevity is that reptiles lead a measured lifestyle, apparently they have nowhere to hurry, and living conditions on the shores of New Zealand probably also extend the life cycle of interesting and unusually unique species of reptiles that survived the dinosaur era.