With love from DOC

The tuatara (TOO-ah-TAAR-ah), a reptile survivor from the dinosaur years, is a New Zealand native whose long-term survival is threatened by the rising earth temperatures.

The tuatara egg is an oddity. For a long time, scientists didn't understand the impact that temperature can have on these reptiles. We now know that the temperature the egg is incubated at will decide whether it will hatch as a baby girl or boy tuatara.

Colder temperatures produce more girls, meaning global warming is a real threat to the species. New Zealand has been experiencing increasing average temperatures, and as a result, more boy tuataras.

Climate scientists have calculated that temperatures in New Zealand could rise by as much as 4 degrees Celsius by 2080, and that would spell the end to female tuataras and eventually the end of tuataras all together.

Science asks the question; will tuatara mothers seek out colder grounds to lay their eggs or will it be up to humans to move these dinosaurs to a safer place? For now, those who live under protection in sanctuaries are thriving, with eggs due to hatch this year.