Gavialis

Gavialis gangeticus

Classification:

Phylum-chordata

Group-vertebrata

Class-Reptilia

Order-Crocodilia

Genus- Gavialis

Species- Gavialis gangeticus

Geographical distribution: Gavialis gangeticusis found in India inhabiting chiefly the basin of Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, Mahanadi and Arakan.

Gavialis-gangeticus

Characteristics:

  1. Gavialis gangeticus  is commonly called gharial.
  2. It may reach the length of about six and a half metre.
  3. The general color is dark olive-brown above with dark markings.
  4. Body is covered with an exoskeleton of epidermal horny scales.
  5. The snout is extremely long and slender.
  6. The limbs are  pentadactyle with five clawed fingers and four clawed toes.
  7. Tail is laterally compressed.
  8. The mandibular symphysis is so long that it comprises a great protion of the splenial bones and extends backwards almost to the level of the last teeth.
  9. Nasal bones are very short and are separated from the premaxillaries.
  10. On either side 28 teeth in the upper jaw and 25 teeth in the lower jaw.
  11. First and fourth lower teeth fit into grooves in the upper jaw.
  12. Vertebrae are procoelous.
  13. In male the nose is very much swollen and can be inflated like a bag when the nostrils are closed.
  14. Gavialis is a harmless creature and feeds entirely on fish.

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