a large, primarily nocturnal, lizardlike reptile, Sphenodon punctatum, of islands near the coast of New Zealand: the only surviving rhynchocephalian.
- Also called sphenodon.
- Also tu·a·te·ra [too-uh-tair-uh]. /ˌtu əˈtɛər ə/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tuatara in a sentence
“The tuatara has the most complicated mitochondrial genome I’ve ever seen,” Macey says.Lizard-like tuatara carry two distinct mitochondrial genomes | Devin A. Reese | January 29, 2021 | Science News
The double mitochondrial genome might give tuatara flexibility in how their metabolisms respond to temperature extremes, the scientists say.Lizard-like tuatara carry two distinct mitochondrial genomes | Devin A. Reese | January 29, 2021 | Science News
In 2012, Neil Gemmell, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and an international team of researchers began to assemble the tuatara genome, in close partnership with the Indigenous Ngātiwai people.How tuatara live so long and can withstand cool weather | Jake Buehler | August 5, 2020 | Science News
The Ngātiwai are considered kaitiaki, or guardians, of the tuatara and were intimately involved in decisions regarding the use of genetic data from the project.How tuatara live so long and can withstand cool weather | Jake Buehler | August 5, 2020 | Science News
The only reptiles in New Zealand are lizards, and a lizard-like animal called tuatara.John Rutherford, the White Chief | George Lillie Craik
British Dictionary definitions for tuatara
a greenish-grey lizard-like rhynchocephalian reptile, Sphenodon punctatus, occurring only on certain small islands near New Zealand: it is the sole surviving member of a group common in Mesozoic times
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012