One of the world's rarest reptiles has reproduced her way into the history books, laying her eggs in captivity in Invercargill.
The Guntheri tuatara called Stumpy was first found in 1989 on an
island in the Cook Strait.
The signs of Stumpy's impending motherhood were obvious and keeper Lindsay Hazley says she started nesting signs about three weeks ago.
Stumpy was x-rayed to confirm that she did have the eggs. The 16-year-old clearly had seven eggs, but needed some encouragement to get rid of them.
"I induced and within the hour she started popping the eggs, in fact, two eggs came out very close together which was possibly an indication that she was slightly bound with those first two eggs," says Hazley.
There are two types of tuatara and this is the first time the more rare guntheri species has laid a clutch of eggs in captivity. For safety, they will be incubated artificially.
There are only about 400 of the species of tuatara left in the world. They are genetically different from the more common punctatis tuatara, and everything about them is smaller.
They also lay less eggs, which are themselves smaller.
The eggs will hatch in about seven months.