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Tuatara: Sphenodontidae


Usually active at night, the tuataras often hunt by ambush, which means that they sit still and wait for a prey animal to come to them. They also forage (FOR-ej), which means that they wander about looking for food. They use their sticky fat tongues to catch and eat mainly non-flying grasshoppers, beetles, and other crawling invertebrates (in-VER-teh-brehts), which are animals without backbones. The unusual arrangement of their teeth is not only excellent for crushing invertebrates but is also well-suited to the occasional meal of a seabird, lizard, or perhaps a smaller tuatara. The younger tuataras are more likely than the adults to hunt during the daytime. This practice may help them avoid being eaten by adult tuataras.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesTuatara: Sphenodontidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Northern Tuatara (sphenodon Punctatus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TUATARAS AND PEOPLE