The Tuatara is a living dinosaur found only in New Zealand. We donate a percentage of Tuatara Coffee sales turnover to Tuatara Conservation projects.

Our conservation effort is well underway. Keep an eye on this website for donation
updates and more information on Tuatara Conservation.


The team at Natureland Zoo in Nelson (where Bernie lives) reckon that Bernie is a female.


Bernie measures about 10cm long. She will sit very still for ages basking under the lamp provided for her and then, without warning, she will rapidly move to somewhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  TUATARA FACTS and FIGURES

  • No-one knows how many Tuatara live on New Zealand's remote sanctuary islands. Estimates vary between 30,000 and 300,000. About 90 percent of them live on Takapourewa (Stephens Island) in the Marlborough Sounds.

  • It is extremely difficult to count Tuatara - even though they are one of the slowest-moving creatures on earth, because the adults only come out at night and they like to make their burrows in some very inaccessible places. Some Tuatara never venture more than 10 or 12 metres from their burrow in their whole life.

  • Tuatara live on a diet consisting mainly of beetles, weta, worms, millipedes an spiders. They also like lizards, seabird eggs and chicks - and the occasional young Tuatara. Because of this risk of cannibalism, young Tuatara come out during the day and hide at night.

  • Although the Tuatara was originally thought to be a relation of the iguana, scientists realised 30 years later that the Tuatara was the most primitive reptile in existence and had lived before the dinosaurs 220 million years ago.

  • Tuatara have a "third eye" on the top of their head, which is visible when they are young and later becomes covered by scales. The purpose of this third eye is a mystery.

  • Tuatara grow to about 50cm long, weigh up to 1.5kg and are estimated to live as long as somewhere between 80 and 300 years. The very same Tuatara living on New Zealand's offshore islands may have watched Captain Cook sail past...