Tuatara Ambassador

I was overjoyed on Monday to receive an email from grandmother Ellen (aka Gem) in the USA who told me all about how her young grandson Benjamin is still a “Tuatara Ambassador”. He first learned of them from my 2018 blog-post when he was only four and in the post-comments at the time, Ellen told me he was “absolutely enchanted”.

Back in 2018 and 2019 I did blog-posts about our wonderful tuatara, commonly referred to as living fossils from the age of the dinosaurs. They’re reptiles but not lizards, and they’re only naturally found in New Zealand. ~Tuatara are the only living members left of the Rhynchocophalian order. All other members became extinct around 65 millions years ago so are also referred to by scientists as “living fossils”.~from a Zealandia web page.

The tuatara photo is one I’d included in the 2018 post. I took it in Henry’s living space at Invercargill Museum so I assume this is Henry himself. Henry is around 120 years old!


In 2019 after I’d mentioned tuatara Ellen updated me: “It was perhaps a little more than a year ago when you featured a post about the Tuatara that captivated Benjamin. I remember it well because he became such a fan of this ancient creature and we enjoyed our researched findings about them. So much so, that I purchased a stuffed toy replica for him from a New Zealand store! It remains one of his favorites. “Tut” has been the star at several preschool show and tell events at two different schools. Benjamin is always so proud when sharing with others the, unknown to them, Tuatara…he even taught his teachers!”


Ellen’s latest communication on Monday tells me Benjamin’s lost none of his enthusiasm

Greetings from Benjamin and Gem! Benjamin is close to completing 1st Grade via a Chrome Book from my dining room table. On Friday the students each participated in a Show & Tell about one of their favorite things. Benjamin chose the long beloved Tuatara and brought “Tut” from home to show but also wanted to give some information in the short time allotted each child. The Leap Frog Magic Adventures GLOBE (purchased by Auntie H for him in kindergarten) was utilized because, much to Benjamin’s delight, the Tuatara is shown and facts given when the stylus is touched onto New Zealand during an around the world search of animals. It was enjoyed by the classmates and impressed his teacher as none of them knew about this amazing little reptile. Benjamin accurately answered several questions posed by the children and teacher. Asked how he learned about the Tuatara, Benjamin said : “I found out from Ms. Liz, my blog friend in New Zealand, when I was only 4 years old.” He also told the class that Tut came to him from New Zealand which one of the boys said was “so cool!” I thought that mayhaps Ms. Liz would like to know that Benjamin is still a Tuatara Ambassador! The included photo is one of the many taken by Auntie H during the presentation. Thank-YOU for sharing the Tuatara with us!! FYI : The t-shirt says “Make Every Day Earth Day” and was purchased to wear during the April 22nd Earth Day project that we completed.

Tuesday: Ellen added these details and I’ve linked to my posts where mentioned – click on the links for more photos, information, and sources for further reading.

Benjamin and I fondly remember your March 2018 post “Into the Tuatarium” which introduced us to New Zealand’s little treasure. Then again in the May 2019 “Tuatara, New Zealand” which still remains archived on my computer and allows us to freely revisit both posts.


~HUGE thank you to Ellen and Benjamin .. just love your enthusiasm my friends!

~who would’ve thought a young lad in the US would become an ardent fan and ambassador for tuatara?


Posted by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021). Communications/photo used with permission. keywords: education, learning, presentation, school, knowledge, sharing,

16 thoughts on “Tuatara Ambassador

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  1. Young Benjamin has a permanent spot in my heart and has had since about the same time you came to know and love him. I loved this post … thank you for featuring the tuatara, Henry, Tut, and Benjamin! Thumbs up to Henry on still going strong at his age!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Benjamin and I are so very pleased and honoured that you chose to share this with your 1,234 followers (he noticed that). His interest and love of nature and concern about the environment began at a very young age. I attribute much of that to the many wonderful bloggers we have followed, such as yourself and Mr. Mike, teaching with words and photographs which captivated and motivated a young mind to learn. The words “Thank-you” seem to inadequately express my appreciation to you for this post, but…Thank-YOU!! P.S. I used the European spelling of the word “honoured” because about 2 years ago Benjamin thought that you spelled the word “color” incorrectly in your blog name. We explored and found that Noah Webster was responsible way back in the late 1700’s for changing many words to an American English spelling for various reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Namaste, Ms. Liz! When Gem & I sent the photo from my school Show & Tell last week it was to show you that I still love Tut and teach others about the Tuatara in New Zealand. This blog post is the bestest surprise for me! Some day when I am bigger I want to come to New Zealand and see a real live Tuatara. It is awesome to be the Tuatara Ambassador and sharing what I learned about them from you. I love all kinds of critters and insects but Tuatara are extra special. Hugs & Kisses from me for you. Bye and thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Namaste, Benjamin! I’m so glad to hear that Tut is still well loved and that you tell people about tuatara. It would be wonderful for you to visit New Zealand one day and see them in real life. Some American university students do their advanced nature study and research here – who knows, maybe one day that could be an option for you. Hugs & Kisses to you too Benjamin!
      ~ Love from Liz xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so wonderful and heartwarming, Liz. There are a number of us in the blogging community who are quite familiar with Benjamin’s insatiable curiosity and interest in nature and the environment as well as in artistic endeavors like watercolor painting. Benjamin’s enthusiasm is contagious and to this day I can’t help but think of him whenever I see a bluebird. In response to a posting I did that showed a bluebird he commented that the bird had as much orange on its body as blue and wondered why it was not called an orange-bluebird. As for the tuatara, I obvious have some reading to do to get up to speed on this amazing creature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ellen and Benjamin are such a welcome happy presence and now you mention it I remember seeing the orange-bluebird discussion! Tuatara are worth reading up about, they’re very special creatures!

      Liked by 1 person

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