I hadn’t figured out what I was going to doodlewash today as the workday came to a close and then Guest Doodlewasher, Kathrin Werner, suggested a gavial. I wasn’t familiar with these, so I googled it to find a very intriguing creature that’s also known as the gharial or fish-eating crocodile. This one certainly counts as uncommon since the global population of these reptiles is estimated at fewer than 235 individuals. They are listed as Critically Endangered on the UCIN Red List due to loss of riverine habitat, depletion of fish resources, and entanglement in fishing nets.
The gavial is one of the longest of all living crocodilians, measuring up to 6.25 m (20.5 ft) at the extreme range. It packs 110 teeth along its thin snout, so it’s well-adapted to catching fish, which is pretty handy considering their largely pescatarian diet. They spend most of their time in water as their short, weak little legs make it difficult to spend long hours on land. Males make hissing and buzzing sounds during mating season to communicate and protect their territories. When females are ready to mate, they put their snouts in the air. Thus begins a bit of courtship as they follow each other around with a little snout rubbing and mounting, which is apparently done by both male and females.
Gavials like to bask in the sun, which increases their body temperatures and aids them in their mobility as well as helping with digestion. When they rest, they do so with their jaws wide open, as many humans also do after drinking too much at a party. No idea whether they also drool or not. This was a fast one and I’m sure there are more fun facts to uncover, but I’ll leave you to your own googling if you’re interested. There’s only two more creatures to go in this month’s adventure so if you have a suggestion, let me know in the comments!