gavial

gavial

[gey-vee-uhl]
noun
a large crocodilian, Gavialis gangeticus, of India and Pakistan, having elongated, garlike jaws: an endangered species.
Also called gharial.


Origin:
1815–25; < French < Hindi ghariyāl

gavialoid, adjective
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World English Dictionary
gavial, gharial or garial (ˈɡeɪvɪəl, ˈɡærɪəl)
 
n
1.  a large fish-eating Indian crocodilian, Gavialis gangeticus, with a very long slender snout: family Gavialidae
2.  false gavial a SE Asian crocodile, Tomistoma schlegeli, similar to but smaller than the gavial
 
[C19: from French, from Hindi ghariyāl]
 
gharial, gharial or garial
 
n
 
[C19: from French, from Hindi ghariyāl]
 
garial, gharial or garial
 
n
 
[C19: from French, from Hindi ghariyāl]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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gavial

(Gavialis gangeticus), an exceptionally long and narrow-snouted crocodilian classified as the sole species in the separate family Gavialidae (order Crocodilia). The gavial inhabits the rivers of northern India and Nepal. Like other crocodilians, it reproduces by means of hard-shelled eggs laid in nests built by the female. It is distinguished by its long, very slender, and sharp-toothed jaws, which it sweeps sideways in order to catch fish, its main prey. The gavial normally attains a length of about 4-5 metres (12-15 feet). It does not attack humans but apparently does feed on corpses set afloat in funeral ceremonies on the Ganges River.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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