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June 13, 2019 Thursday 02:56:19 PM IST

Rural-Urban Divide Among Animals Too- The Case of Bengaluru Lizards

Teacher Insights

People living in rural areas need to quickly adapt if they are to survive in urban environment. Likewise, animals also need to adapt to survive, according to a new research finding of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. 
The study was done on a lizard species called Indian rock agama (Psammophilus dorsalis). They identified two sets of lizards- one set from rural Bengaluru and other from suburban parts. Two refuge spots were set up using PVC pipes and one had a red square which has to be perceived as safe. If the lizards chose any other resting spot, the researchers gently tapped their tail with a stick. Slowly, they learnt to find the safe refuge which was the one with red square. In a subsequent experiment, the changed the game and made the PVC pipe without red square as safe. The urban lizards were able to spot the right one in seven attempts while the rural lizards took 14 attempts.

The experiment confirms the cognitive ability of lizards to adapt to new places and situations and individual experiences over a lifetime also influence their decision making process.



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