Draco or Gliding Lizard, Agumbe, Western Ghats, Karnataka

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Draco or gliding lizard (Draco dussumieri) is an agamid lizard endemic to the  Western Ghats and Northeast India. They are primarily arboreal and occur in rainforests and plantations like areca nut, rubber, etc. It has a membrane called a patagium around its belly which extends to create wings that help it glide across tall canopies. Interestingly, within the Western Ghats, they do not occur beyond the Goa gap, a significant biogeographic barrier between Goa and South Maharashtra, due to the … Read More

King Cobra, Agumbe, Karnataka

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The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the longest venomous snake in the world, growing up to 10 to 13 feet on average. The longest individual recorded was 19.1 feet in length. King cobras are sexually dimorphic, with the males being larger than the females. King cobra males captured in the Western Ghats weighed up to 10 kg while females weigh around 5 kg. The etymology of its zoological name come from “Ophiophagus” meaning “snake-eating” and hannah derived from … Read More

Tracking Leatherback Turtle Migration

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The Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the only existing species of the family Dermochelyidae. They are the largest of living sea turtles, growing up to 2 metres and weighing as much as 900 kg. Guided by the earth’s geomagnetic field to navigate, leatherback turtles can migrate more than 10,000 kilometres across oceans from breeding to feeding grounds. Unlike other marine turtles, leatherbacks can regulate their body temperature by a combination of their large size, insulation, and a blood … Read More

“What’s that Lizard?” Workshop — Chennai, May 7 – 8, 2016

Madras Crocodile Bank Trust/Centre for Herpetology (MCBT/CFH) is organising a 2 day 1 night workshop for people who are interested in learning more about lizards in particular as we have a variety of them including our recent additions, the largest lizards in the world. This is part 3 of MCBT/CFH’s 4 part “What’s that Reptile?” series and the last part is “What’s in that Shell?”, which will deal exclusively with Chelonians.

For more information on any of these workshops, please … Read More

King Cobra and Monitor Lizard

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The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is not just a snake eater as its generic name might suggest (Ophio = snake; phagus = eater). While its main diet does consist of snakes, it will also catch and eat monitor lizards. The king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world, and males are capable of growing to a length of nearly 6 metres. In India, king cobras are found in the Andaman Islands, in the semi-evergreen and evergreen … Read More