The Indian dragons we know so little about

by Aathira Perinchery, Mongabay, 30 June 2020

  • A recent study on two subspecies of the water monitor in the Andaman and Nicobar islands reveal there’s so much more to learn about these large lizards in the country.
  • India is home to four Varanus species. Basic ecological and behavioural information on these large reptiles are lacking and very few scientists study varanids.
  • Varanids are routinely captured for meat and body parts often sold to quell superstitious beliefs. The animals could be allies for farmers and are an important part of an ecosystem.


“According to herpetologist Varad Giri, there’s a lot to learn from exploring varanid taxonomy. The Bengal monitor, for instance, is seen in many parts of India – from deserts to wet evergreen patches – and it would be worth checking to see if they were all the same, he added.”

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