The bulbous-nosed reptiles were in critical decline until conservationists stepped in
As the sunlight pierces the fog, a fisherman on a boat floating along the Gandak River in Bihar, India, spots a magnificent reptile basking on a sandbar in the middle of the river. Most people would mistake it for a crocodile but its distinctive snout tipped with a bulbous mass and elongated jaw tell him it is a gharial.
Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) are often mistaken for crocodiles or alligators. They are the only species in the Gavialidae family: river-dwellers that eat only fish and some crustaceans, and which split from all other crocodilians perhaps more than 65m years ago.
Written by Kalpana Sunder
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/19/rising-tide-why-the-crocodile-like-gharial-is-returning-to-indias-rivers-aoe under the title “
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