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Bengal monitor lizard

  • IASbaba
  • April 15, 2022
  • 0
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Bengal monitor lizard

Part of: GS Prelims 

Context: Four persons were arrested for allegedly raping a Bengal monitor lizard in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR) in Maharashtra.

Bengal monitor lizard

  • Distributed widely in the Indian Subcontinent, as well as parts of Southeast Asia and West Asia. Mainly a terrestrial animal, and its length ranges from about 61 to 175 cm (24 to 69 in) from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. 
  • Young monitors may be more arboreal, but adults mainly hunt on the ground, preying mainly on arthropods, but also taking small terrestrial vertebrates, ground birds, eggs and fish.
  • Although large Bengal monitors have few predators apart from humans who hunt them for meat, younger individuals are hunted by many predators.
  • Known as bis-cobra in western India, Goyra in Rajasthan, guishaap or goshaap in Bangladesh and West Bengal, goh in Punjab and Bihar, as ghorpad in Maharashtra and as Thalagoya in Sri Lanka
  • A clan in Maharashtra called Ghorpade claims that the name is derived from a legendary founder Maratha Koli leader Tanaji Malusare who supposedly scaled a fort wall using a monitor lizard tied to a rope.
  • The Bengal monitor’s belly skin has traditionally been used in making the drum head for the kanjira (known as Dimadi in Maharashtra), a South Indian percussion instrument.

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