Back at work... & a tuatara photograph
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 10:49:26 PM
In the meantime, my second favourite reptile (crocodiles appeal the most). The tuatara is that lovely survivor of the sphenodonts. And it only survives in New Zealand. One of the cooler thing about it is the perfect diapsid skull. All reptiles and birds have this diapsid skull (2 holes on each side) while mammals have 1 (they're synapsid). In most modern diapsids the temporal bar has disappeared. Tuataras are so ancient that they still have an intact temporal bar and two completely divided 'holes'.
Such holes lighten the skull and provide better attachments for muscles.
Sadly, I've yet to make it to an offshore island to see tuatara in the wild. That would be rather cool. But in the interim, I got this shot (through glass) at the National Aquarium in Napier.
I used the newish Sony 70-200/2.8 G for this shot and applied a slight 'haze' filter effect (which actually reduces haze) in post-processing.