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|phylum||Chordata||The tuatara is a reptile that is endemic to New Zealand and which, though it resembles most lizards, is part of a distinct lineage, order Rhynchocephalia. Their most recent common ancestor with any other extant group is with the squamates (lizards and snakes). For this reason, tuatara are of great interest in the study of the evolution of lizards and snakes, and for the reconstruction of the appearance and habits of the earliest diapsids.
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