Reptile becomes a father, at 111

By | January 27, 2009

Phillip Capper)A rare New Zealand reptile has become a father, possibly for the first time, at the age of 111.

The keepers of Henry, a tuatara, had thought he was past his prime – especially after showing no interest in females during 40 years in captivity.

But he mated with 80-year-old Mildred last July and 11 of the eggs she produced have now hatched. …

Tuatara, which are found only in New Zealand, are sometimes referred to as “living fossils”.

They are the only surviving members of a family of species which walked the Earth with the dinosaurs more than 200 million years ago.

The museum now has about 70 of the rare creatures, and Mr Hazley is hopeful that Henry might provide more offspring in the future.

He lives with three female tuatara “in great harmony”, said Mr Hazley, and described the hatching of the eggs as “the completion of a love story”.

via BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Reptile becomes a father, at 111.

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