The gharial is part of the order of crocodylia and the family of gavialidae. They are the longest and one of the largest of all crocodilian species. Males have been known to reach 20-23 feet. Certain parts of the body of a gharial make my imagination soar with thoughts of DRAGONS! The strong tail is laterally flattened with an impressive crest that begins as two rows at the top, becoming one toward the tip, making them excellent swimmers. But in my mind I see them whipping that tail as they prepare to open wings and fly! They also have a crest on the outer edge of the forearm, leg and foot - precisely the ornamentation I see on the dragon in my mind. Their skin has a dramatic texture, with patterns of scutes over their body and even their feet. That look of armor is just what I would expect on a dragon. One of their most prominent characteristics is the extremely long, narrow jaw, with rows of about 50 teeth. So I admit, this is not how I picture a dragon at all, but still an awesome smile, and intriguing for sure. Perhaps the perfect cover for a transformation that occurs in the magic hours under a cloak of darkness?
Keywords:Gharial, San Diego Zoo