Food for Tuatara
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Natureland Zoo

Silaiti, Tuihana and Bailee had the opportunity to go to the Natureland Zoo in Nelson. They met Lynn and she showed them the bug room where they breed insects and worms to feed to the animals at the zoo, including the tuatara

They also went to get some more locusts for our class because some of our locusts had died. We didn't know why they had died but Lynn said they were probably just old. Locusts don't live very long and the locusts at Natureland die too. Lynn gave us two mating pairs and one single male.

As they were looking at the locusts we saw the meal worms and they asked what they were. Lynn said that they were for Tuatara to eat and they were Tuatara's usual food.

They asked Lynn if they could go see the Tuatara she said of course. So they went over to the Tuatara enclosure and searched everywhere for them. But they were still hibernating. (Hibernating is when Tuatara rest during winter time. Tuatara stay in their burrows until winter is over.)

They asked Lynn some questions.

Silaiti asked:

Q. Out in the wild can locusts lay their eggs in something else other than sand?
A. Yes. They can lay there eggs in wet dirt not too wet and not too dry.

Q. How many colours can locusts be?
A. It depends how old they are.

Q. How can you tell a male tuatara from a female tuatara?
A. The male tuatara is larger than the female tuatara.

Bailee asked:

Q. How did you find the locusts and where did you find them?
A. We buy the insects and bugs from Biosuppliers.

Q. Are locusts the most common food for Tuatara to eat?
A. No, meal worms and meal worm bugs are.

Q. How much can locusts eat?
A. Not very much. Probably a quarter of a teaspoon of bran for all the baby locusts in the enclosure.

Room 14, Victory Primary School, Nelson - 2010