Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Centenarian to become dad again

Henry the Tuatara, regarded as the last of the dinosaurs, will become a father for the first time in 40 years at the ripe old age of 111.

The indigenous New Zealand reptile - who is regarded as one of the last living descendants of the dinosaurs - has mated with Mildred, a youngster aged between 70 and 80.

The pair produced 12 eggs in mid-July after mating earlier this year at the Southland Museum on New Zealand's South Island, Tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley said.

Tuatara are the lizard-like last descendants of a species of reptile that walked the earth with the dinosaurs 225 million years ago, zoologists say.

Henry has lived at the Southland Museum's special enclosure for Tuatara since 1970 and had shown no interest in sex until he recently had a cancerous growth removed from his genitals.

He is now enjoying the company of three females and might breed again next March, Hazley said.

"With these guys, foreplay might take years. One has to be patient," he said.

Source: Daily Mail

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