23
Nov
08

So, what was it?

Well, a few humorous guesses. Crocogatorious Herbivorous? Come on, it’s not an American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) or Broad Snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostris) The leaf was accidental. Besides, no crocodilian relies exclusively upon fruit. This species is, however, potentially one of the largest extant species of crocodilian. It is the False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) which turns out to be not quite as false as we once thought.

The true Gharial looks a little different with a snout which protrudes much higher above the jaw and much more anteriorly.

This is opposed to the American Crocodile which has a snout terminating at the upper jaw as pictured below.

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2 Responses to “So, what was it?”


  1. 1 Stacy S.
    November 23, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I should just always ask my son. I show him the picture & he says – “It’s a gharial. It’s in one of my books … I’ll show you”.

    He’s a show off. 😉

    I’ve got one for you on mai blaag! 🙂
    http://car54.wordpress.com/2008/11/23/do-you-know-what-this-is/

  2. 2 jaredcormier
    November 24, 2008 at 12:15 am

    False gharial, not a true gharial, they are related, but not the same. False gharials are a little shorter in length, but far more robust. True gharials are difficult to keep in captivity because their thin jaws often get broken or damaged. Males have a giant bulbous growth on their nose (called a “ghara” meaning “pot”) which is used for attracting those sexy females.

    Any real pressure on this thin snout or ghara can lead to breakage, though.
    Because its jaws are so fragile, it’s bit strength is pretty low, restricted to a diet of animals small enough to swallow whole since, unlike other crocodilians, it cannot use lateral “tearing” or rotational torque to rip off chunks.

    But that is awesome that he knows that stuff.


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