Common names: Indian Gharial

Scientific name: Gavialis gangeticus


Kingdom: Animal

Phylum: Chordate

Class: Reptilia

Order: Crocodilia

Familly: Gavialidae

Genus: Gavialis

Species: G. gangeticus


The male usually weighs 350-450 pounds and are usually 19.7 ft long when they are mature adults. The female usually is the same weight as the male but they are only 11.5-13 ft. long. They are a pale olive color with a little bit of black that fades into tan on the tip of its scales. You can identify them because unlike others in their genus they have a very skinny snout.


They are mostly found in upper India and in Nepal, Burma and Bangladesh. They usually live in swampy areas that have the same colors as they do. This camouflage helps them blend in with their surroundings. They swim quick and swift because their skinny snout helps them not catch water while swimming.


This certain type of crocodile is one that is close to extinction. There are about one thousand five hundred of them still alive today. But to help save them from being extinct they have made laws to protect these endangered species. Another way they have helped conserve them is they have created buildings where they hold them. There are many conservation programs to help save them from being extinct. It is a federal offense to hunt them.


They usually eat fish and little frogs and the younger ones eat little tadpoles and small carp. They are one of the highest in the food chain and therefore they really don’t have any predators but their eggs get eaten by lizards, mongoose and jackals. They have a couple of techniques to catch their prey and one of them is they sit and wait for their prey to come. Another is they sweep side to side while moving forward or they do like a rapid strike eating anything that moves.


One of the interesting things I found about the Indian Gharial is that they actually eat small pebbles to help grind up their food and the smaller ones eat sand to help grind up their food. The Indian Gharial is one of the most interesting animals I think I have ever read about.


Author: Tyler W

Published: 02/2007


Photo Credit: Gharial, Indian Gharial, Gavial : Gavialis gangeticus Taken : Feb. 2005, Pierrelatte, France, in captivity : La Ferme aux crocodiles : Author : Jean-François BOTTON