May 31

We drove to Bluff, which is world renowned for its oysters. The ocean views were lovely from the view point over town. Of course, we had to stop and pick up some oysters as well. They were the best that I have ever eaten!

Our next stop was Invercargill, home of the World’s Fastest Indian and tuataras. We checked out the museum where both of these reside.

The tuataras are fascinating, they and their relatives died out elsewhere 65 million years ago. One of the museum scientists had a theory that the concentration of oxygen was higher on earth back then and as a result tuataras were fast moving. Now, it takes them about twenty minutes to increase their oxygen levels enough to move. Yet, they did survive when nearly every other species was killed off. When the temperature is cool, they only breathe once an hour and their heart rate is less than ten beats per minute. They are also born with a third eye, which is covered by scales as they mature. It was amazing to see four of them! One tuatara, George, is well over one hundred years old. (I wonder if he got a letter from the queen.)


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