When a species can’t stand the heat

Global warming could leave New Zealand’s tuatara dangerously short of females

By Cristy Gelling, 16:03 PM April 8, 2014

Earth’s warming threatens to tilt populations of an unusual reptile so dramatically that the species’ long-term survival could be put in peril. The change could leave the species, a survivor from the age of the dinosaurs, without enough females to avoid extinction.

The tuatara (TOO ah TAAR ah) is about the size of a squirrel. A crest of floppy white spikes runs down its back. Although it resembles a lizard, the grey-green species (Sphenodon punctatus) actually belongs to a separate and distinc...

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