from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Either of two nocturnal lizardlike reptiles (Sphenodon punctatus or S. guntheri) that are found only on certain islands off New Zealand and are the only extant members of the Rhynchocephalia, an order that flourished during the Mesozoic Era. Also called sphenodon.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Either of two reptiles, Sphenodon punctatus or Sphenodon guntheri, native to New Zealand, that resemble lizards.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A large iguanalike reptile (Sphenodon punctatum) formerly common in New Zealand, but by 1900 confined to certain islets near the coast. It reaches a length of two and a half feet, is dark olive-green with small white or yellowish specks on the sides, and has yellow spines along the back, except on the neck. It is the only surviving member of the order Rhyncocephala. Also called tuatera and hatteria.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. only extant member of the order Rhynchocephalia of large spiny lizard-like diapsid reptiles of coastal islands off New Zealand
Maori tuatara : tua, back + tara, spine.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Maori tuatara. (Wiktionary)