Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Banded Rock Gecko.
A widely diversified group of reptiles, the lizards are generally distinguished from the snakes by the presence of limbs. Geckos are another sub group of these lizards. The eye lacks eyelids and is covered by a transparent shield in nearly all species. The major feature of geckos is the ability to climb smooth vertical surfaces and to move on ceilings defying gravity. This is due to the minute setae under the toes were believed to act as suction cups.
Unlike other running lizards and birds where the limbs are thin and only the tendons activate the limbs but the legs and feet of geckos are heavily muscled. The fibers of the muscles that control the toe movements are arranged like the barbs on a feather permitting more muscular attachment to the setae holding plates. Most geckos have a voice, few even produces a mechanical sound by rubbing specialised areas of the body. Most Indian geckos are nocturnal spending the day in a convenient hideout.
Geckos obtain a certain amount of protection from the ease with which the tails breaks off and moves actively after detachment, thereby drawing attention to itself and away from the animal. The tail is superbly adapted for this purpose. All geckos are oviparous, and normally lay 2 eggs. The shell is soft when laid but hardens on contact with air. It is a strong belief that geckos are poisonous but at least no Indian species are at all poisonous.
This is Banded Rock Gecko (Cyrtodactylus dekkanensis). These geckos are easily distinguished from other geckos by the vertical pupil. Most specis are conspicuously and handsomely marked with spots and / or bands on a gray or brown background. In India there are 12 species known till date. Mostly all are nocturnal and dwell among rocks and on the forest floor. This species is widely distributed in the western and eastern Himalayas, the desert of Kutch and the forests of Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats and in the Andamans.
Yuwaraj Gurjar.

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