I can’t resist the occasional cuteness of not inherently cute animals – like Henry the Tuatara, who at 111 years old, had his crotchety grumpy old man reptile heart melted by one Mildred, and became a daddy. All together now – “Awwwwwwww!”

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A rare reptile has become a father at the age of 111 for the first time. Henry, a New Zealand tuatara, confounded experts who believed he was past it when he succumbed to the charms of Mildred last year.

The female, who is estimated to be in her seventies, laid 12 eggs and yesterday, after 223 days of incubation, 11 baby tuatara successfully hatched.

Henry, a long-time resident of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, on South Island, had previously ignored female tuatara, or even attacked them. As well as finally proving Henry’s virility, the hatchlings will give a much-needed boost to the genetic diversity of an endangered species.

Also interesting, cuz wtf’s a tuatara? From the Independent:

Tuatara, which resemble lizards and can claim a lineage dating back 220 million years, are estimated to number 50,000, with most living in predator-free sanctuaries or on New Zealand’s offshore islands.

Hmm, ok, interesting. But still not gonna beat out the bonobos in my list of faves.

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