The endangered gharial, an animal similar to a crocodile, lives in parts of central Asia such as northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The gharial has some very unique body parts. Did you know that its jaw can hold over 100 interlocking teeth? This is so it can catch fish, which are its primary food source in adulthood. It can’t move very quickly on land because its hind legs are webbed, but it can move quickly through the water. It has tough scales on its upper body while the belly has only soft skin. It uses its eyes to its advantage because when it’s on its belly it can see what’s all around. The skull is not heavy but it’s very long. Its nose acts like a vocal chamber. The tail helps the gharial move in water.
The gharial is not to be confused with the false gharial which looks a lot like it but has some minor differences. One difference is that the gharial has the fleshy nob at the end of its long nose and the false one doesn’t. Another is that the gharial and the false don’t live in the same area of Asia. The false gharial lives in a freshwater habitat, while the real one lives in saltwater streams.
Their weight is not yet known, but they can grow up to 7 meters long. They breed between February and May and can lay up to 100 eggs, although they usually lay closer to 37 per batch. They eat insects and small creatures like frogs when they are young, and when they grow up, they tend to eat fish. We should make sure that the gharial lives so that we can discover more about this strange creature.
[Source: The Encyclopedia of Animals]