The gharial, gavial, or Indian gavial (Gavialis gangeticus) is a critically endangered species of crocodilian from India with an extremely thin, long snout and needle-like teeth.
One of three crocodilian species found in India, gharials can reach up to 15 feet (one individual was found at 21 feet in 1943) in length and up to 450 lbs. Mature male gharials display a bulbous growth at the end of their snout that is used for making a loud hissing sound. The name gharial is adapted from the Indian word “ghara”, which means “pot”.
This crocodilian’s long set of jaws are in fact fragile and are mainly used for catching fish and other small prey items. Interactions with humans are rare, and injury from gharials are slim considering the frailty of their snouts.