Prince Harry Greets A Tuatara In New Zealand

The latest celebrity to handle a reptile? Prince Harry. Well not so much a celebrity as royalty. The prince was in New Zealand for the first time this weekend to the island nation, the first member of Britain’s royal family to officially visit the island. Prince Harry was greeted at the Invercargill Airport by Tim Shadblot, the mayor of the city, where the mayor presented Harry with a tuatara (Sphenodon sp) that is more than 100 years old. 

Interesting official greeting to say the least. 

The tuatara are endemic to New Zealand and while they resemble lizards, they are part of the order Rhynchocephalia and the two species in New Zealand are the only surviving members in their 200 million year old family. Tuatara can live more than 100 years and reach sexual maturity at 10-20 years. 

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