At Age 111, Finally a Dad

New Zealand's Harry the tuatara regains libido after 40 years
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2008 2:33 PM CDT
Tuatara (Flickr)   ((c) Aidan Wojtas)
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(Newser) – A New Zealand reptile is about to become a father at the ripe old age of 111, reports the Guardian. Henry the tuatara displayed no interest in reproducing during 40 years of captivity but regained his sex drive earlier this year after removal of a cancerous growth from his genitals. He then mated with Mildred, who bore 12 eggs in mid-July.

The eggs take 12 to 16 months to hatch. "With these guys, foreplay might take years," said a tuatara curator in New Zealand. "One has to be patient." Tuataras, also known as "living fossils," descend from a creature that inhabited Earth with the dinosaurs. Only 100,000 exist and they have an average lifespan of 60 years.