either of two primitive, amphibious, lizardlike reptiles (Sphenodon punctatus or S. guntheri) of the SW Pacific, with a row of spines along the back and a well-developed third eye: they are the only rhynchocephalians still in existence
Origin of tuataraMaori tuatàra from tua, back ( from Proto-Polynesian an unverified form tu'a) + tara, spine ( from Proto-Polynesian an unverified form tala, sharp object)
nounpl. tuatara, or tu·a·ta·ras
Either of two lizardlike reptiles (Sphenodon punctatus or S. guntheri) that inhabit several small New Zealand islands and are the only extant members of the group Rhynchocephalia or Sphenodontia, which flourished during the Mesozoic Era. Also called sphenodon .
Origin of tuataraMaori tuatara tua back tara spine
(plural tuatara or tuataras)
From Maori tuatara.