gavial

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Related to Gavials: genus Gavialis, False gharial

gavial

(gā`vēəl), large reptile of the crocodilecrocodile,
large, carnivorous reptile of the order Crocodilia, found in tropical and subtropical regions. Crocodiles live in swamps or on river banks and catch their prey in the water. They have flattened bodies and tails, short legs, and powerful jaws.
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 order, found in rivers from Pakistan to Myanmar. Also called gharial, the gavial (Gavialis gangeticus) is distinguished from the crocodiles and alligatorsalligator,
large aquatic reptile of the genus Alligator, in the same order as the crocodile. There are two species—a large type found in the S United States and a small type found in E China. Alligators differ from crocodiles in several ways.
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 by its extremely long, slender, parallel-sided snout. It feeds chiefly on fish, which it catches with side-to-side sweeps of the head. The young are hatched from eggs buried in the riverbank. Gavials are not known to attack humans. They average 12 to 15 ft (3.7–4.6 m) in length, with some individuals over 20 ft (6.1 m) long. The so-called false gavial is actually a narrow-snouted crocodile. The true gavial is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Crocodilia, family Gavialidea.

gavial

[′gā·vē·əl]
(vertebrate zoology)
The name for two species of reptiles composing the family Gavialidae.