Class Reptilia Order Sphenodontia Family Sphenodontidae Number of families 1

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Neither sex has ear holes, males lack a copulatory organ, both sexes have rear-pointing extensions on ribs, teeth tightly fused to the surface of the jawbone, and a double row of teeth on the upper jaw


Males are about 24 in (60 cm) in length and 2 lb (1 kg) in weight; females are smaller, measuring less than 16 in (40 cm) in length and rarely exceeding 1 lb (454 g) in weight

Number of genera, species

1 genus; 2 species


Islands with low-growing, salt-tolerant trees with a relatively open forest floor

Conservation status

Vulnerable: 1 species


Islands off the North and South Islands of New Zealand

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