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Gharial: Gavialidae


As youngsters, gharials eat tadpoles, shrimp, insects, and fish they find in the water. As they get older, they become more selective and will eat almost nothing but fish. They usually hunt by ambush, which means that they remain completely still and wait for a fish to swim close. At that point, their unusual teeth become useful. At the front of the lower jaw, a gharial's teeth face outward at such an angle that the tip of the mouth when it is closed looks like a pin cushion. As the fish nears, the gharial snaps its jaws sideways at the prey and stabs it with these very sharp teeth. With a upward jerk of its head, the reptile flings the fish off of its teeth and into the back of its mouth.

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Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesGharial: Gavialidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, GHARIALS AND PEOPLE