Let’s Talk About: Gharials


buy the stars lyrics Sure, crocodiles and alligators might be the flashier, more popular crocodilian species- hell even caimans get their fair share of love- but instead I want to focus on this conundrum of a creature, the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus).  Plus, if it wasn’t for the picture above, you’d probably have no idea what I was talking about today.  Honestly though, they look like an accident, one horrific accident.  I mean, their snouts alone look like someone was rolling cookie dough, then stopped after they were about 95% done.  Or like they’re perpetually balancing a cinnamon bun on their nose.  OR like someone took a shit on them.  But I digress, these guys are pretty cool, but too often forgotten.  It’s time to change that, so let’s talk about gharials!

Gharial are found mainly in Northern India, with smaller populations living in Pakistan and Nepal.  They are the second largest crocodilian species on this planet, reaching a body length of between 4 and 6 metres (the largest species being the saltwater crocodile, which can reach 7 metres in length).  They are also the most aquatic of all of the crocodilian species, so well adapted to water that they can’t lift their bellies off the ground when moving on land- aka, they’re real pathetic on land.  

Really though, it’s their weird looking snout that makes them so distinct.  Ending in a cartilaginous knob- a ghara- in males, their skinny snouts are really only good for catching fish and frogs.  As such, while being apex predators- massive apex predators- they really only prey on small species.  Oh and that ghara sitting on the end of male snouts- apparently a real big turn on for the ladies.  When courting, males make wonderfully erotic gurgling and bubbling sounds- because yes, gharials are just one big confusing mess.

Some other fun stuff about them: they lay around 50 eggs at once- which, honestly, seems like a lot.  They also live in groups, containing one male and multiple females, with males being dominant due to their size.  And finally, they continue to grow up until the point when they die, which is probably why they look so odd and disproportionate, but also terrifying, considering we don’t really know how long they live.

That’s the gharial though.  A weird looking mistake, with a super sexy ghara.  For more info, check out these links: