Extinction of dinosaurs in New Zealand caused by global warming. Several types of extinct reptiles. It has survived ice ages, volcanic eruptions and the intrusion of humans on its South Pacific island home, but New Zealand's last survivor of the dinosaur age may become extinct due to global warming.
Mounted with spiny scales from head to tail and covered by rough, grey skin that disguises them among the trees, the tuatara is one of the world's oldest living creatures.
But the lizard-like reptile is facing increasing risk of extinction from global warming because of its dependency on the surrounding temperature which determines the sexes of unborn young while still in their eggs.
"They've certainly survived the climate changes in the past but most of them (past climate changes) have been at a more slower rate," said Jennifer Moore, a Victoria University researcher investigating the tuatara's sexual behaviour.
"So you wouldn't expect these guys to be able to adapt to a climate that's changing so rapidly."
The sex of a tuatara depends on the temperature of the soil where the eggs are laid. A cooler temperature produces females, while a warmer soil temperature results in male offsprings. [source]