They're Older Than the Dinosaurs

We work closely with the IZW to ensure the preservation of the tuatara.

They've even outlived the dinosaurs: The tuataras are more than 200 million years old.
The reptiles were thought to have been extinct for a long time, but they were then rediscovered in the 19th century. Some of them have survived on the islands of New Zealand. The tuataras have in fact been threatened with extinction since then. In order to maintain the rare species, we'll do everything we can together with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) to speed up the breeding process. The animals should then be released into the wild in New Zealand.
Breeding is not as simple as it sounds because the fossilised species can reach up to 100 years old, and reproduction may take a lot of time as a result. The tuataras mature very late and egg deposition only takes place once every four years. Until a small lizard hatches, the process of which lasts 6-8 months. The fact that tuataras are nocturnal creatures and are therefore difficult to observe adds to this task. The more difficult conditions mean that breeding outside of New Zealand has not yet been successful.

We are well prepared at Berlin Aquarium:

Cameras for the night too

We have installed cameras that record our lizards round the clock. The recordings are collected regularly and analysed by the IZW. As a result we can find out whether any reproduction attempts have taken place.

Incubator for the eggs

We are well equipped should there be an egg deposition! A special incubator aids in the hatching of the delicate eggs.

Ultrasound device used for sex determination
We can determine the sex of the lizards using ultrasound examinations in cooperation with the IZW. A cycle diagnosis is therefore also possible.

We hope that by doing this we can contribute to the survival of the species in cooperation with the IZW.

Opening hours

Today, 7. December
9:00 - 18:00
Last admission: 17:00
All opening hours

Feedings & Trainings

  • No public Animal feeding & training sessions are taking place at this time.



Budapester Straße 32, 10787 Berlin

Route (Google)