Indian Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)
The Indian gharial is one of the most endangered species of crocodilians. They are found in small populations in India and Nepal (see range map). Gharials are known for their unusually long thin snout. This snout is full of interlocking teeth. The shape is perfect for catching fish in river environments. Therefore, the gharial feeds almost exclusively on fish.
Gharial are a large crocodilian reaching up to 19 feet long. Although large, their feeding and anatomy means they are not threat to humans.
Gharial get their name from the Hindu word Ghara, a type of earthen clay pot. Male gharial have a peculiar bulbus growth around their nostrils that resembles one of these pots.
The gharial now occupies only 2% of the range they once lived in. Currently they are listed as critically endangered and their population still continues to decline.
I am extremely proud to note that the drawing of the gharial to the right was done by me and was sent to Crocfest for May 12, 2023. This spring's Crocfest is being held at St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida. This drawing will be part of their live auction at the event. The money raised in the auction along with other activities at this event will go to the continued research and conservation for this amazing species.