Print Tuataras Reading Comprehension
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||grades 7 to 9
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||reclassify, best, serrations, sole, groundbreaking, incubation, so-called, descendents, spiny, untended, risky, extinction, prominent, unclear, pointed, thus
||New Zealand, Albert Gunther, British Museum, When European
Spanish: Los Tuátaras
1 Living on thirty or so small islands off the coast of New Zealand, tuataras have loose, scaly skin of grayish brown. Adults grow to be 24 inches in length and 2.2 pounds in weight. They have pointed crests running down their necks, backs, and tails. This specific feature, more prominent on males than on females, is actually how tuataras got their name. You see, in Maori, the word "tuatara" means "spiny back."
2 Like several other lizard species, tuataras have a so-called "third eye." This additional eye is found on the top of their heads. The eye has a rudimentary lens and retina, and it is best seen when tuataras are young. As they grow, it is covered with a layer of skin and becomes less obvious. It's unclear whether tuataras' "third eye" has any specific function. It may be a light receptor.
3 Despite looking very much alike, tuataras differ from lizards in several ways. For example, tuataras do not have eardrums and middle ears, whereas lizards do.
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