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Rhynchocephalia Collection

Rhynchocephalia, also known as the great fringed lizard of New Zealand or Hatteria punctata

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Hatteria punctata, great fringed lizard of New Zealand

Hatteria punctata, great fringed lizard of New Zealand. Illustration taken from The Lizards of Australian and New Zealand by Gray, John Edward (1800-1875)

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: DDE-90026433

DDE-90026433
Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) with Identification Tag, Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand Date: 22/06/2006

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: A Tuatara, lying in front of a rock, at London Zoo in 1928 (b / w photo)

A Tuatara, lying in front of a rock, at London Zoo in 1928 (b / w photo)
3703971 A Tuatara, lying in front of a rock, at London Zoo in 1928 (b/w photo) by Bond, Frederick William (1887-1942); Zoological Society of London; eZoological Society of London; British

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: A Tuatara, lying on a rock, at London Zoo in 1929 (b / w photo)

A Tuatara, lying on a rock, at London Zoo in 1929 (b / w photo)
3822568 A Tuatara, lying on a rock, at London Zoo in 1929 (b/w photo) by Bond, Frederick William (1887-1942); Zoological Society of London; eZoological Society of London; British, out of copyright

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: A Tuatara at London Zoo in 1927 (b / w photo)

A Tuatara at London Zoo in 1927 (b / w photo)
3601573 A Tuatara at London Zoo in 1927 (b/w photo) by Bond, Frederick William (1887-1942); Zoological Society of London; eZoological Society of London; British, out of copyright

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Gephyrosaurus is an extinct animal from the Early Jurassic period

Gephyrosaurus is an extinct animal from the Early Jurassic period
Gephyrosaurus is an extinct Rhynchocephalian from the Early Jurassic period of Wales

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Archaeothyris is a synapsid from the Late Carboniferous Period of Canada

Archaeothyris is a synapsid from the Late Carboniferous Period of Canada
Archaeothyris florensis is an extinct synapsid from the Late Carboniferous Period of Canada

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Priosphenodon is an extinct Rhynchocephalian from the Late Cretaceous

Priosphenodon is an extinct Rhynchocephalian from the Late Cretaceous period

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Rhynchosaurus reptile, fossil skull C016 / 5047

Rhynchosaurus reptile, fossil skull C016 / 5047
Rhynchosaurus reptile, fossil skull. This specimen is 7.8 centimetres in length. This extinct reptile, which had a parrot-like mouth, lived during the Triassic period

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Homoeosaurus maximiliani, lizard fossil C016 / 5039

Homoeosaurus maximiliani, lizard fossil C016 / 5039
Homoeosaurus maximiliani, lizard fossil. This sphenodontid lizard dates from the Triassic period. This specimen was discovered at the Litho Stone formation, Kelheim, Germany

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Homoeosaurus maximiliani

Homoeosaurus maximiliani
A fossil specimen of Homoeosaurus maximiliani, a Sphenodontid lizard which dates back to the Triassic period. This specimen was discovered at the Kimeridgian Lithographic stone, Kelheim, Bavaria

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Rhynchosaurus skull

Rhynchosaurus skull
This skull measuring 78mm belongs to an extinct genus of reptile called Rhynchosaurus. It lived during the Triassic period and fossils have been found in Africa, Europe and Brazil

Background imageRhynchocephalia Collection: Reptiles from New Zealand

Reptiles from New Zealand
Descriptions of two hitherto unrecorded species of Reptiles from New Zealand. Passage taken from The Zoological Miscellany by John Edward Gray, 1831


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Rhynchocephalia, also known as the great fringed lizard of New Zealand or Hatteria punctata, is a fascinating reptile species that has captured the attention of scientists and enthusiasts alike. With its unique characteristics and ancient lineage, this creature holds a special place in the world of paleontology. One notable specimen can be traced back to 1928 at London Zoo. In a black and white photograph, we see a tuatara lying peacefully in front of a rock. Its scaly skin glistens under the sunlight, showcasing its prehistoric charm. The following year, another snapshot captures another tuatara resting on a rock at the same zoo. These images serve as timeless reminders of our fascination with these remarkable creatures. However, Rhynchocephalia's existence extends far beyond zoos and photographs. Fossils have provided valuable insights into their evolutionary history. Gephyrosaurus, an extinct animal from the Early Jurassic period, offers clues about their ancestors' morphology and behavior. But it doesn't stop there; other ancient relatives like Archaeothyris from the Late Carboniferous Period in Canada shed light on how these reptiles evolved over time. And let's not forget Priosphenodon – an extinct Rhynchocephalian from the Late Cretaceous – which adds yet another piece to this intricate puzzle. The study of Homoeosaurus maximiliani further expands our knowledge about these incredible creatures through well-preserved lizard fossils dating back centuries ago. Intriguingly enough, one cannot help but marvel at Rhynchosaurus reptile's fossil skull - an extraordinary find that showcases their unique cranial features. From modern-day tuataras to long-extinct species found within fossils spanning various geological periods – each discovery contributes to unraveling more secrets about rhynchocephalia's enigmatic past.