What is the Tuatara? Recently, this interesting creature was named the mascot for the new New Zealand professional baseball team. Besides being a mascot that intimidates competitors and represents the country, what reason did the team have to choose this mascot? Well the answer to this stems from the answer to the question; what is the tuatara?
The Tuatara is one of not only New Zealand’s, but the world’s, oldest species. There are very few left and they can be found on only some of the islands that make up New Zealand. There are also a few that are kept in sanctuaries on the mainland, where visitors can learn more, and where experts are making conscious efforts to preserve the endangered and rare animals. The species is actually considered a dinosaur survivor!
Interestingly, the animal can live for longer than most other animals, with the oldest to date being Henry, who is 118 years old (approximately). The creatures don’t qualify as lizards, but rather as what is known as a living fossil, meaning they survived from an ancient species. There are many differences between the Tuatara skeleton and that of actual lizards. The species itself could date back as far as 200 million years, and unlike the other species who died out about 60 million years ago, the Tuatara still exist today.
The strength, uniqueness, and rigour demonstrated through the interesting story and history of this creature make it a little bit more obvious why they make a great mascot. They are unlike any other creature, they have survived literally millions of years, they are strong and adaptable. Strength and uniqueness are qualities that a sports team looks for and seeks to embody. Not to mention the fact that, as we have previously stated, the strong and resilient creatures are unique to New Zealand.