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RESTful Web Services Cookbook by Subbu Allamaraju

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Colophon

The animal on the cover of RESTful Web Services Cookbook is a great fringed lizard or Hatteria punctata. Hatteria, more commonly known as tuatara, are endemic to New Zealand; “tuatara” is a native Maori word meaning “peaks on back” (referring to their spiky, or fringed, spines). The name “great fringed lizard” is a misnomer; though they resemble common lizards, tuatara are quite different anatomically, and, unlike lizards, they’re nocturnal and enjoy cool weather. Misclassified as lizards by the British Museum in 1831, tuatara were reclassified by zoologist Albert Günther in 1867 as Rhynchocephala, an order from which many Mesozoic fossil species are known. In fact, some scientists refer to these reptiles, the only living representative of Rhynchocephala, as “living fossils.”

Tuatara grow very slowly—they don’t reach maturity until they are 13–20 years old and don’t stop growing until they are about 30. It is believed that tuatara in the wild can reach the impressive age of 80 or older. Their average length is 20–31 inches and they weigh 1–3 pounds. They can be gray, olive, or brick red, and their coloring can change over their lifetime. As adults, they shed their skin at least once per year. Other physical characteristics include a diapsid skull (two openings on either side), a lack of external ears, acrodont tooth structure (meaning the teeth are fused to the jawbone—another fact that distinguishes tauatara from lizards), and a third eye. This third eye grows on top of ...

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