Gharial – Facts and Information
One could mistake them for a crocodile but their snout gives it away. The long slender snout with a chain of razor sharp teeth sure gives out their identity and sets them apart from a general crocodile we see. As the adults progress and grow in their society they develop a fleshy growth on the tip of this snout. This is how they get their name, Ghara means a kind of a round pot in Hindi and the bulbous growth sure looks like an inverted pot balanced there.
They are one of the largest of the crocodilian species and sure are ginormous with an adult growing up to 6 meters long (about 20ft). The individual here sure seems to have grown to its full capacity.
They are specialised hunters and love their fish. Now after understanding their food preference, their long slender jaw which otherwise looks funny makes sense and showcases its purpose.
They almost revived from the brink of extinction. It is told that their population declined by 98% a few years ago and their numbers dwindled down to a mere couple of hundred adults in the wild. It was then massive protection programs were introduced to help revive them and it seemed to have worked successfully. Today we definitely see a rise in numbers since the last few years yet they are a species branded as Critically Endangered which is quite understandable.
Threats this Magnificent Species Face.
- Redirecting of rivers after Damming, illegal sand extraction from river banks lead to nesting habitat destruction.
- Depleting food source due to unscientific fishing practices
Threat of getting entangled in fishing nets. These are a few to name and sadly every single one is human induced.
Since they are one of a kind, losing them would mean wiping out a ‘one of its kind’ species from the face of the earth with no alternate to take its place in nature’s intricately woven web of life. Them being categorised as one of the world’s 100 most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered reptiles only goes to show how unique and rare they are and how their absence can leave an everlasting impact on life as a whole.
Loss of something valuable is usually recognised and regretted only after it’s slipped by and gone,
Shouldn’t we respect their existence and a celebrate their presence well before they are reduced to nothing but
If we continue to selfishly live our lives with all resources overdrawn,
We shall walk this Earth with nobody by our side all alone
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