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More Fun Than Fun : My Favourite Lizard Stories

Gadagkar, R (2021) More Fun Than Fun : My Favourite Lizard Stories. In: The Wire .

Gadagkar - 2021 - More Fun Than Fun - My Favourite Lizard Stories.pdf - Published Version

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Official URL: https://science.thewire.in/environment/raghavendra...


After submitting my PhD thesis on the biochemistry and molecular biology of a bacterial virus, I decided to turn my attention to the ecology and evolution of larger creatures. I had already been mesmerised by the Indian paper wasp (Ropalidia marginata). But I was also fascinated by the common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus). But I knew nothing about geckos. My mentor Madhav Gadgil suggested that I spend some time at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) to learn about geckos. J.C. Daniel, an authority on the Reptiles and Amphibians of India, and who was probably already the Director of BNHS by then, kindly invited me. My tryst with geckos And so it was that I took a train from Bangalore to Bombay and found myself in Daniel’s office on a Monday morning. He welcomed me and showed me racks and racks of preserved gecko specimens, and said I was free to study all I wanted. Seeing me with a suitcase in hand, he kindly asked me if I had a place to stay. I murmured that I did not. He seemed worried, but after a pause, he said in a hushed voice: let this be just between you, me, and the watchman; you can sleep on the floor in between the racks of specimens. And so I did. I spent the next month sleeping among the racks at night, quietly slipping out in the morning, arriving at 10 am disguised as a day visitor, studying my geckos, going out conspicuously at 5 pm, and slipping back inconspicuously after 9 pm. The kindly watchman even shared his morning tea with me.

Item Type: Editorials/Short Communications
Publication: The Wire
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 11:53
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2021 05:41
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68663

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