Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Landmark book on New Zealand’s iconic tuatara released

Media Release: Landmark book on New Zealand’s iconic tuatara released

A landmark publication about New Zealand’s iconic reptile, the tuatara, has been released by Canterbury University Press (CUP).

Tuatara: Biology and conservation of a venerable survivor, is the culmination of almost 30 years of research on tuatara and their conservation management by author and biologist Dr Alison Cree.
The first detailed monograph on the species for decades, Tuatara outlines the unique evolution of this distinct reptile, from the journey of its ancestors over hundreds of millions of years through major geological events and the arrival of humans, to the survival of modern-day tuatara on remote islands off the coast of New Zealand and in mainland eco-sanctuaries.

Tuatara also explores their natural history and conservation, as well as the special place of tuatara in Māori and popular culture.

“New Zealand is the only place in the world where rhynchocephalian reptiles exist – it’s an important part of the evolutionary history of vertebrates and a global responsibility to see it continue,” Dr Cree said.

“I wanted to explain to readers the wealth of discoveries that have been made about the evolutionary history of rhynchocephalians – the group to which tuatara belong – and following from this, the more sophisticated view we now have of the evolutionary status of tuatara.

“In short, the tuatara genus (Sphenodon) is important not because it is unchanged, as has often been assumed, but because it is the last representative of a once-major group. I make a case for considering it as a ‘last survivor’ rather than a ‘living fossil’.”

Dr Cree said she wanted to write a book that would benefit a wide range of readers including biologists, university students, natural historians, zoo keepers, science historians and conservation managers.

“Ever since I began studying tuatara as a keen young postdoctoral researcher, I’ve felt the lack of comprehensive and up-to-date resource about the biology of tuatara. I hope my book is able to fill that gap and help stimulate new research and attention in a time of global change,” she said.
Dr Cree said Tuatara reveals a plethora of fascinating information about tuatara including the practice of having them as pets in the late 1800s.

“Tuatara were sometimes kept as pets in the late 1800s and early 1900s. There are some fascinating newspaper accounts of ladies who allowed tuatara, in a ‘domesticated state’, to nestle in their laps, and press their heads against the ladies’ cheeks. A man from the Bay of Plenty used to pull his pet tuatara from within his clothing, sometimes frightening local shop assistants in the process.

“I discovered when writing the book how wide the fascination is with tuatara within the human community. I experienced the generosity of many who, in sharing their knowledge and curiosity, have helped this book become what it is.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Bad Day For Rope: Donaghys Job Losses Another Blow To Dunedin

The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. More>>

ALSO:

Oil: 2014 New Zealand Petroleum Summit

Simon Bridges: Our abundance of energy and minerals resources provides us with unique opportunities to build the New Zealand economy.

Over the past three years the Government has made significant changes to how the sector is regulated. More>>

ALSO:

WWF Report: Solutions In Reach; World Biodiversity Suffers Major Decline

Global wildlife populations have declined by more than half in just 40 years as measured in WWF's Living Planet Report 2014. Wildlife's continued decline highlights the need for sustainable solutions to heal the planet... More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news