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Creation 9(3):18, June 1987

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Editor’s note: As Creation magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this. For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below.

Tuatara—confined to its kind!


It looks like a lizard, but it croaks like a frog. It can go for an hour without taking a breath. And it is commonly said to live up to 300 years.1

There are many unusual features about this reptile called a tuatara, which is now found only on a few rocky offshore islands in New Zealand. It can withstand temperatures as low as 7 deg. C (45 deg. F)—which is the lowest temperature recorded by any reptile. In these cold conditions its movements become so slow it has been known to fall asleep in the middle of munching a mouthful of insects.

The tuatara can reach a length of 60 cm (two feet), and often shares its burrow with a bird—the petrel. When the female tuatara lays her eggs, they receive no attention from the parents, and can take 15 months to hatch. This is the longest incubation period known for a reptile. Growth rate is also slow; the tuatara doesn’t reach maturity until it is 20 years old, and it continues to grow until it is 50.

But the tuatara is best known to scientists for an even more amazing reason. It definitely has not evolved! Fossils of a creature virtually identical to the tuatara have been found in rocks which evolutionary geologists date at 200 million years old.2 

Apart from the fact that these reptiles seem to have become smaller in size, they appear to be virtually the same today as they always have been.

While evolutionists believe mutations and natural selection have occurred to the degree required to bring about all the living things we see today from a first microscopic form of life, the tuatara is excellent evidence against this. It is good evidence for creation, for the tuatara has simply reproduced ‘after its kind’—just as Genesis says all creatures would.

Posted on homepage: 13 May 2015

References and notes

  1. Nature’s Kingdom, Deans International Publishing, London, 1984, p. 22; Encyclopedia of Reptiles, Amphibians and Other Cold-Blooded Animals, Octopus Books Limited, London, 1975, p. 119. Return to text.
  2. Attenborough, D., The Living Planet, Guild Publishing, London, 1984, p. 261. Return to text.

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