The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), also known as the gavial, and the fish-eating crocodile is a crocodilian in the family Gavialidae, native to sandy freshwater river banks in the plains of the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. It is threatened by loss of riverine habitat, depletion of fish resources, and entanglement in fishing nets. As the wild population has declined drastically since the 1930s, the gharial is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Adult gharial does not have the ability to walk on land in the semi-upright stance as other crocodilians but leave the water only to lay eggs.

Courting and mating start by mid-February. In the dry season, reproductive females routinely move 80–120 km (50–75 mi) and join female breeding groups to dig nests together. These nests are 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in) deep holes in riverside sand or silt bank and 1 to 5 m (3.3 to 16.4 ft) away from the waterline. They lay 20–95 eggs.

After 71 to 93 days of incubation, young gharials hatch in July just before the onset of the rainy season. Their sex is most likely determined by temperature. Females dig up the hatchlings in response to hatching chirps but do not assist them to reach the water. They stay at nesting sites until monsoon floods arrive and return after monsoon.

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