Western Ghats: New gecko species

A team of researchers recently discovered a new gecko species in the Western Ghats of Kerala. The species has been named as Hemidactylus easai. The species was named after the former director of the Kerala Forest and Research Institute P S Easa.

About the new species

The species was found in the drier regions of the forest. It measured 105 milli meter from snout to vent. The species was light brown in colour. It was found near human habitation.

Gecko distribution

There are more than 180 species of geckos in the world. India has 48. Of these 48, 30 are in Kerala. Geckos are not threat to human habitation. They play a major role in controlling the insects.

What are geckos?

Geckos are lizards. They are found everywhere in the world except Antarctica. They are mainly found in warm climates of the world.

What is unique about Gecko?

Geckos are unique among lizards. They are unique for their vocalisation. They use chirping and clicking sounds for their social interactions. They make hissing sounds when threatened or alarmed.

Word Origin

Gecko is an Indonesian word. It is imitative of the sound made by the species.

Features

Most of the geckos lack eye lids. Therefore they cannot blink. They lick to remove dirt from their eyes. Geckos are nocturnal, that is, they are active during night. Their vision is 350 times the eyesight of humans in low light. Geckos shed their skin every two to four week intervals. Most of the geckos have adhesive toe pads.  They have more than hundred teeth. They are polyphyodont, meaning they replace their teeth every three months.

Geckos are ectothermic

The internal heat of ectothermic organism is less. They use the atmospheric heat for their metabolic activities. Geckos use atmospheric heat for feeding, locomotion, reproduction, and to accomplish their main functions.

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