Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Some Reptiles at Chester Zoo

This is the rare Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). The tuatara is a reptile of the family Sphenodontidae, endemic to New Zealand. The two species are the only surviving members of the Sphenodontians who flourished around 200 million years ago. The tuataras resemble lizards, but are equally related to lizards and snakes, which are their closest living relatives. For this reason, they are of great interest in the study of the evolution of lizards and snakes, and for the reconstruction of the appearance and habits of the earliest diapsids (the group that additionally includes birds and crocodiles). The tuatara has been classified as an endangered species since 1895.

This is another critically endangered species – the Utilan Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri) from Honduras in the West Indies.

The Sudanese Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx dispar). It’s a hard life, lazing in the artificial sunshine, waiting for the next cricket to appear. Fortunately it is not endangered.

The Philippine Fresh-water Crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is only found in the Philippines. In the Philippines, it is strictly prohibited to kill a crocodile, but its status is critically endangered from exploitation and unsustainable fishing methods, such as dynamite fishing.

I love the Rhinoceros Iguana (Cyclura cornuta). Many zoos have one in their collection.



  1. What a wonderful zoo. I've never heard of most of these.

  2. Prehistoric monster miniatures!

    Lovely photo's

    Love Granny

  3. Wow! Great shots! Tater loved the iguana pics!


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