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Peninsular Rock Agama (Psammophilus Dorsalis)

Context:

A study carried out by researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, undertook to characterise urbanisation in the region and also to understand where the rock agama reside in and around Bengaluru specifically.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Peninsular Rock Agama
  2. Why research them?

About Peninsular Rock Agama

  • The Peninsular Rock Agama (Psammophilus dorsalis) is a type of garden lizard has a strong presence in southern India.
  • This lizard is a large animal, strikingly coloured in orange and black.
  • They do not generate their own body heat, so they need to seek warmth from external sources like a warm rock or a sunny spot on the wall.
  • They are important in ecology from different aspects — they can indicate which parts of the city are warming, and their numbers show how the food web is changing.
  • Habitat loss and other such features of urbanisation have affected the presence of the animal in urban centres.

Why research them?

  • A healthy environment depends on insects because they provide a wide range of functions, including pollination.
  • Therefore, even while rock agamas are fascinating in and of themselves, they also serve as a useful model system for analysing other facets of the ecosystem.
  • There is a great deal of vegetation and fauna that is quickly disappearing in cities like Bengaluru.
  • One such species, the rock agama, is reliant on rocky scrub environments that are being transformed into structures and crops.

-Source: The Hindu


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