Friday, October 29, 2010


The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is a species of crocodile and is critically endangered.  It is found in India and is one of the longest species of crocodile.  It is sometimes called the Indian gavial or simply gavial.  It is one of the two surviving species of the family Gavialidae.

Physical Features                                                                   A gharial's snout 
The gharial is the second longest crocodilian, being smaller only to the massive saltwater crocodile.  Its long snout distinguishes them from other crocodiles.  They normally measure 16 feet and weigh upto 680 kilograms.  The biggest one caught was 23 feet and weighed more than 1000 kilograms.  Along with the saltwater and nile crocodile, the gharial has a record where three individuals were above 1000 kilograms.  They have more than 100 teeth, with 29 teeth and 26 teeth on the lower jaw on both sides.

The gharial is found in India.  they used to be found throughout the Indian subcontinent, but now, the remaining populatiion is mostly found in India.  They inhabit the Ganges river and parts of Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and in Nepal.

The gharial's closest relative is the false gharial found in part of Malaysia.  It is one of the two species from the family Gavialidae.  Like all crocodiles, it is from the order Crocodolia. 

Conservation Status
The gharial is critically endangered.  About a decade ago, it was on the brink of extinction, but now, due to breeding programs, its population has increased.  In India, there are about 500 gharials released into the wild every year.

Source of picture 1:
Source of picture 2:

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