CLASSIFICATION OF GAVIALIS : GHARIYAL

PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )

Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )

Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)

Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )

Super class :-  TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)

Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).

Sub-class :- DIAPSIDA ( Skull with two temporal openings separated by postorbital and squamosal ).

Order :- CROCODILIA ( Body and head large. Jaws powerful. Skin thick and leathery. Tongue nonprotrusible, Heart 4-chambered ).

Family :- CROCODYLIDAE ( Snout not distinct from the rest of the skull ).

Genus :- Gavialis

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

Gavialis is found in India in Ganges river, Myanmar and Malayasia. Indian
species is G. gangeticus.

HABIT AND HABITAT

Ghariyals lives in Ganges river. It eats fishes.

GAVIALIS : GHARIYAL

GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF GAVIALIS : GHARIYAL

  • Commonly known as Ghariyal or Naka.
  • It is the largest of all crocodilians but not dangerous to mankind. Body divisible into head, neck, trunk and tail. Body measures 5 meters.
  • Head contains eyes and elongated snout with nostrils at the tip.
  • Body is covered with an exoskeleton of bony and epidermal horny scales. The upper part of the body dark olive green with dark markings.
  • Head large and produced into a long and narrow snout which is sharply distinct from rest of the skull. Jaws powerful, rimmed with various conical teeth. Teeth sub-equal and internal nares within
    the pterygoids. Upper jaw contains 28 and lower jaw 25 teeth on either side.
  • Mandibular symphysis is so long that it comprises a great portion of the splenial bones and extends backwards almost to the level of the last teeth. The fIrst and fourth lower teeth fit into grooves in the upper jaw.
  • Forelimbs and hind limbs short pentadactyle and ending in clawed toes with webs between. Vertebrae procoelus.
    (8) Tongue is not protrusible. Heart 4-chambered with separate ventricles. Bladder absent.
  • Tail is strong and powerful and laterally compressed, containing vertical scutes.
  • A flap of skin covers the ears. In male the nose is very much swollen which is inflated like a beak when nostrils are closed.

Special features

Male gharials sport a large growth on their snout called a “ghara”, the Hindi word for “mud pot.” Males use their gharas to vocalize and blow bubbles during mating displays.

Identification

The animal contains long and narrow snout and all above features, hence it is
Gavialis Ghariyal.

GAVIALIS : GHARIYAL

REFERENCES

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