30 May 2012

Tuatara found to have unique way of chewing

3:35 pm on 30 May 2012

New research on the tuatara has revealed that it chews its food like no other animal on earth.

Scientists from three British universities say tuatara pushes its jaw forward like a saw and slices pieces off its prey.

The technique may have contributed to the survival of the New Zealand reptile, which is often described as a living fossil.

It is the last remaining species of sphenodon, a lizard-like group of animals that goes back 200 million years.

The researchers, whose paper has been published in the journal The Anatomical Record, observed tuataras chewing at Chester University then simulated the action digitally, the BBC reports.