Friday, September 4, 2009

More on the Symonds Street tuatara

An update to this post.

I've had an email today from Christopher Thompson which sheds more light on where the tuatara came from.

"I rather suspect that the Tuatara mentioned in the Auckland Star report may have escaped from a group collected for research purposes by my great grandfather, Algernon Thomas, first professor of natural sciences at Auckland University College. Thomas began his research into Tuatara in February 1885, gathering some 90 specimens from Kawera Island. The Tuatara were usually kept in a 'lizard house' at his home (then in Portland Road, Remuera) but the location of the putative escapee suggests that it may have come from his laboratory, then housed in the former Parliament building. The research was published in 'Preliminary note on the development of Tuatara', Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, 48, (1890).

I am attaching a copy of a photographic print of some of the Tuatara (and their eggs) taken by Thomas around 1890."
Thanks very much, Christopher! As I mentioned in reply, I had wondered where the tuatara may have come from, and thought I'd never find out. I really appreaciate this information, cheers!

Image by Sir Algernon Thomas, reproduced by kind permission from Christopher Thompson

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