Gharial (Gavialis Gangeticus) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name - Gharial

Gharial

Scientific Name : Gavialis Gangeticus

Type : Reptile

Age : 30 – 50 Years 

Diet : Carnivore 

 

Physical Characteristics:

Length : 3.3m – 6.5m

Weight : 150kg – 250kg

Top Speed : 15mph

Colour : Grey , Olive 

Skin Type : Plate Like Scales 

Lifespan : 30 – 50 Years 

Current Population : 650

Current Population Trend : Decreasing 

Native : Northern Indian subcontinent 

 

Facts

Main Pray : Fish , Waterfowl , Frogs 

Habitat : Wide And Clam Slow Moving Rivers 

Predators : 330.7lbs

Estimated  Population Size : 182

Lifestyle : Nocturnal 

Favorite Food : Fish 

Amazing Facts

  1. Gharials have between 106 and 110 interlocking, razor—sharp teeth, which help them catch slippery fish. The long, narrow snouts of gharials have low resistance, increasing their speed through water.
  2. Salt—excreting glands on the tongues of gharials help them tolerate saline (salty) environments.
  3. Of all crocodilian species, gharials have the largest eggs, weighing about 160 g (6.4 oz.) each.
  4. Gharial eggs are temperature—dependent, meaning the gender of the hatchlings is dependent upon the temperature in which they are incubated. In general, males are produced with warm temperatures and females with cool temperatures.
  5. Hatchlings weigh 75 to 130 g (2.6—4.6 oz.) and measure 32.5 to 39.2 cm (12.8—15.4 in.).
  6. Unlike most crocodilians, female gharials are unable to assist their hatchlings to water due to their unique jaw structure. However, they do protect their young around the nesting area for several weeks after hatching.
  7. Adult male gharials have a rounded growth on the tip of their snouts, called a ghara. It enhances vocal communication by acting as a resonator that prdouces a loud buzzing call. The ghara is also a visual stimulus for females during the breeding season and helps with the production of bubbles during courtship displays. Males begin to develop their gharas around 10 years of age.
  8. Like all reptiles, gharials are ectothermic, depending on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature.
  9. Very agile in aquatic environments, gharials have flattened, muscular tails and webbed feet that help propel them through water.
  10. Gharials frequently bask in the sun to increase their body temperature, resulting in better mobility and digestion.
  11. Gharials have a structure at the back of the eye, behind the retina, called the tapetum lucidum, which enhances their night vision.  This mirror—like structure reflects light (that has not already been absorbed by the eye) back into the eye a second time to help produce a brighter image.  The tapetum lucidum causes their eyes to glow at night, when a light is shone on them

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