"Gavialis gangeticus"

The Large Long-Nosed Crocodilian

The gharial is a freshwater crocodilian which is well known for having a long snout, and a slender body. The gharial is a titan crocodilian, and it one of three crocodilians native to India, apart from the Mugger Crocodile and the Salt Water Crocodile, it is one of the longest of all living crocodilians.

Food Chain and Habitat

Food Chain:

-The gharial is a carnivore.

-It is a predator and its diet consists mainly of insects, larvae, and large frogs. Adults mostly eat fish.

-The gharial occasionally feeds on water birds.

-Gharials are not man-eaters.

-The gharial finds its food on rivers and sandy banks.

-The gharials only main predator is the human, due to heavy commercial net fishing that entangles the gharials.

(GCA, wiki)


-The gharial is found in the continent of Asia in the countries of Northern India, South-East Pakistan and Southern Nepal.

-They live in rivers, such as the Imauaddy River in Myanmar.

-Their home is in the water.

-They are found living in a humid tropical climate.
(GCA, wiki)

Gharial Description

-The gharial is a reptile that has a thick skin covered with smooth epidermal scales that do not overlap.

-The adult gharials average length is 11.5 feet, and its average body weight is 350-400 pounds. The height of a gharial is about one foot. The largest ever gharial size recorded was 6.5 m (21 ft), which was killed in the Gogra River of Faizabad. Gharials are one of the biggest of the crocs and is the second behind the salt-water crocodile. Hatchlings are approximately fifteen inches long.

-To communicate, the gharial uses acoustic communication, the sending and recieving through sound. It is not a language, but just noises.

-The bulbous growth on its snout, the ghara, partially covers the nostrills turning the hissing vocalization into a buzzing noise when air is forced through this passage.

-Gharial males often hiss and buzz while advertising territory. While ditressed, juveniles and sub adults will make a while, groan, or "quack"-type vocalization.

-The gharials unusual characteristics are short slow legs, a long snout with a bulbous tip on top, a long body, and razor sharp teeth.

(GCA, wiki)


-Their well developed strong tail, and their rear feet that process extensive webbing are the gharials adaptions for protection because the adaptions helps them become faster and more agile, allowing them to escape human interference (nets, dams, etc.)

-Some of the gharials structures are its razor sharp teeth, small, weak legs, long snout, slender body, webbed feet, and powerful tail.


-Some of the gharials behaviors is to lie in the shade to cool down, or to lie in the sun to warm up.

-They are not aggressive to each other, except during breeding and mating season, when the males are territitorial.

-There is sometimes aggression between mugger crocs and gharials where ranges overlap.

-Child gharials stay together in groups near the mother for between a few weeks to months after hatching.

-They are shy and passive animals, and gharials often bask in groups.


Gharial Reasons for Endangerment

-Less than 200 breeding adults in the wild, the lowest since the 1970's.

Reasons for Endangerment:

-Mainly because of loss of habitat.

-Gharials are riverine and generally live in the very shallow and calm areas of waters in larger and faster rivers. Gharials are not suited for land.

-Also because of human interactions (fishing), which depletes their food source.

- Some other reasons are because of over over-hunting for skins and trophies, egg collection for consumption, killing for indigenous medicine, and killing by fishermen.

-There has also been a mysterious disease that has been killing of the gharials.

Why Gharials lost their Habitat:

-Due to the building of dams and irrigation canals on and around the larger sources of water in Nepal. They cannot survive in deeper waters or on land, and it has been very difficult to preserve their perfect habitat.

(KW, wiki)

Gharial Conservation

Donate funds to save the gharials! Gharials are declining everyday, and today, their population is only a couple hundred in India.


-There has been a population decline of 96–98% over a three-generation period since 1946.

-There was once a widespread population of an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 individuals has been reduced to a very small number of widely spaced sub- populations of fewer than 235 individuals in 2006.

Conservation Efforts:

- 9 protected areas for this species in India, which are linked to both captive breeding and 'ranching' operations, where eggs collected from the wild are raised in captivity to reduce mortality due to natural predators.

-Since 1981, more than 3000 young gharial have been released into the wild.

-There is also cooperation between several governments in order to preserve the gharials, and many different areas that are protected and linked to captive breeding and releasing into the wild.




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