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Awards 2011

Toad-headed Agamid by Baiju Patil

Referred to as the toad-headed agama, this agamid lizard leaves delicate footprints behind in its sandy home in Rajasthan's Thar Desert. It hunts by burying itself in the sand and then launches attacks on unsuspecting prey that it follows with just its eyes above the ground. This lizard has always been targeted by the illegal trade for the supposed medicinal value of the oil extracted from its body, but today an even greater challenge is posed by climate change, which will wreak havoc on its austere habitat by radically affecting the ecology of prey species.
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