Reptile

Gharial

Area: 
India, Nepal, and Pakistan
Habitat: 
Rivers
Food: 
Fish and frogs, and sometimes soft shell turtles, birds, and small mammals
Size: 
11 to 15 feet long; males are bigger than females
Babies: 
Hatch from eggs—about 12 to 100 in one nest
Gharials keep growing as long as they live.
Sweep and Eat

 

 

A gharial’s long, slender snout helps it catch fish. When the gharial swings its snout from side to side, it can strike and stun fish. Sometimes it can grab a fish in one sweep! Gharials swallow small stones every so often to help grind up food in their stomach.

 

This crocodilian gets its name from the bump that grows on an adult male’s long snout. “Ghara” is a Hindi word for a clay pot with a long neck. Because the bump partly covers the nostrils, males often make a buzzing sound as they exhale.

 

Gharials spend up to 7 hours each day basking in the sun on sandy riverbanks. But sand mining and agriculture are taking away their habitatWhere an animal or plant normally lives and grows.. Hunters illegally kill them for meat and to sell their skins. People are working to change things to help gharials continue to swim, sweep, and eat.