Gharials are once again on the verge of extinction in the wild. After 30 years of conservation effort and restocking, there may still be fewer than 200 breeding adults left in the wild. Gharials are officially extinct from everywhere except a few small isolated populations in India and Nepal. Males have bulbous tips, shaped much like Indian 'ghara' pots, on the end of their unusually long, narrow snouts. This low-profile snout is filled with interlocking razor-sharp teeth, that are perfect for catching fish underwater. Gharials are one of the largest and most aquatic members of the crocodile family.
Scientific name: Gavialis gangeticus
Gharials are devoted mothers, before and after their babies hatch.
As her babies prepare to hatch and call to her, a mother gharial digs into her nest to help them. The babies continue to call as they hatch. Gharials are devoted mothers. The mother gharials take turns to guard a creche of babies in the Chambal river. Includes shots of Valmik Thapar riding an elephant past the Taj Mahal.
The following habitats are found across the Gharial distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is a crocodilian of the family Gavialidae that is native to the Indian subcontinent and also called gavial and fish-eating crocodile. As the species has undergone both chronic long term and a rapid short-term declines it is listed as a Critically Endangered by IUCN.
The gharial is one of three crocodilians native to India (the other two are the Mugger crocodile and the Saltwater crocodile). It is one of the longest of all living crocodilians.
The Nepali and Hindi word घड़ा ghaṛā means earthenware pot, pitcher, water vessel.
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