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.
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 tuatara
- Maori tuatara tua back tara spine
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Maori tuatara.