Home Life Trends Gharial - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Gharial - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Scientific title: Gavialis gangeticus
Scientific classification:
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Gavialidae

What does it seem like?
An grownup male gharial might be a lot as 6.5 m lengthy and weigh a number of hundred kilograms. Females are an incredible deal smaller than males, however they're nonetheless spectacular wanting crocodilians. The snout may be very lengthy and skinny and is armed with quite a few needlesharp tooth. The physique may be very heavy, but the limbs are weak. The tail is giant and highly effective and is fl attened from facet to facet.

Where does it reside?
The gharial is present in numerous Asian river methods, together with the Indus (Pakistan), the Brahmaputra (Bangladesh, Bhutan and India), the Ganges (Bangladesh, India and Nepal), the Mahanadi (India), and the Ayeyarwady Kaladan (Myanmar). It prefers the deep, quick fl owing parts of these rivers.


The Indian subcontinent and the encompassing areas are dissected by a number of very giant river methods. It is the icy peaks of the Himalayas the place a lot of this water originates. Over the eons these rivers have carved their means by means of the rock of the land forming gorges, valleys and fl oodplains. It is in these slim gorges, the place the water fl ows deep and quick, that the strangest of all crocodilians makes its residence. The gharial, generally generally known as the gavial, is essentially the most specialised of all these historical reptiles. It is for instance essentially the most aquatic of the crocodilians, spending virtually all of its time within the water. They solely haul out to bask within the warming rays of the solar or to lay eggs. Their our bodies usually are not actually constructed for a life out of the water—the legs usually are not sturdy sufficient or in the proper place to carry the burden of the animal on land. To transfer about out of the water the gharial should resort to stomach sliding and though it may slip alongside at fairly a tempo when it wants to, that is hardly an environment friendly technique of locomotion. T us, the gharial is rarely discovered removed from water. Although awkward and lumbering on the land the gharial is essentially the most agile of the crocodilians within the water. Its giant tail propels the animal swiftly and simply by means of the water. The gharial’s love of the water is carefully certain to its food plan, which is extra specialised than some other crocodilian. As an grownup a gharial preys solely on fish. Crocodiles and alligators would discover it tough subsisting solely on fish as they're too fast and can fairly simply evade the snapping jaws of these reptiles. The gharial is provided with a number of diversifications that make it an virtually unparalleled dispatcher of river fish. The snout is lengthy and skinny, which implies that it may be swung by means of the water with the minimal of resistance. Not solely do the jaws slice by means of the water, however they're bristling with many needlelike tooth giving wonderful buy on the slippery prey. A typical searching technique employed by the gharial is to make a fish corral from the riverbank and its physique. Fish inadvertently swim into this entice and are quickly snared within the toothy jaws. To swallow the fish impaled on its jaws the gharial lifts its head from the water and with a sideways jerk the fish falls off the tooth and deep into the mouth. For a lot of the 12 months, gharials concern themselves with fishing and basking, however from November to January the cycle of consuming and basking is interspersed with courtship and mating. A giant bull gharial defends a harem of a number of females and he mates with all of them, aggressively driving off hopeful suitors and preventing with different mature bulls who just like the look of his females. Several months after mating, normally round March to April, the females go away the water to lay their eggs. They excavate holes within the sandy riverbanks, depositing someplace between 35 and 60 eggs earlier than rigorously backfilling the nests. During the incubation interval the feminine diligently guards the nest and after round 60 days her off spring hatch. She assists them in leaving the nest and stays with them till the arrival of the monsoon rains. The heavy and torrential rains fl ood the nest websites and the younger are carried downstream to begin their very own lives.

Key Facts

  • The gharials are fairly distinct from the opposite crocodilians (crocodiles, alligators and caimans) and they're represented by two species, the second being the false gharial, which is present in six river methods in Malaysia and Sumatra.
  • Male gharial have a lump on the top of their snout that grows with age. Thisboss as it's identified partially restricts the nostrils to the extent the place the breath of the animal appears like a buzz or hiss. The males use this sound throughout courtship and additionally throughout aggressive exchanges with different males.
  • The crocodilians are a really historical group of animals. The earliest identified consultant of this group is a fossil from the late Triassic, someplace between 200 and 230 million years in the past. It is now broadly accepted they're the closest residing family members of birds, which developed from the opposite historical lineage of reptiles, the dinosaurs.
  • Just how the crocodilians survived the cataclysmic occasions that spelled the top of the age of the dinosaurs is a thriller. Perhaps they survived as a result of they're usually generalists and had been in a position to survive on the carcasses of different animals, in search of refuge within the comparatively sheltered atmosphere of their aquatic habitat. Following the demise of the dinosaurs the crocodilians diversified and for some time they competed with mammals and birds for the dominance of the terrestrial ecosystems. They had been outcompeted finally and receded to the semiaquatic habitat they're so effectively tailored to.
  • The gharials, with their skinny jaws have misplaced the great chew strain of their broadsnouted family members. A reasonably sized crocodile (3-four m lengthy) can chew with a pressure of round 960 kg.
  • The gharial is such a specialised animal that its numbers and vary have been closely aff ected by human actions. Dams have been constructed, waters polluted and riverside habitats developed for building or agriculture. In the 1970s the species got here inside a hair’s breadth of following the dinosaurs to extinction, however state safety and tireless conservation have allowed it to regain a few of it former glory, particularly in India. Unfortunately, in different international locations the scenario shouldn't be fairly as rosy and the gharial stays on the cusp of extinction in these areas.