False gharial

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False gharial_table_infobox_0

False gharial

Temporal range: Oligocene - Quaternary PreꞒ O S D C P T J K Pg NFalse gharial_header_cell_0_0_0

Conservation statusFalse gharial_header_cell_0_1_0
Scientific classification TomistomaFalse gharial_header_cell_0_2_0
Kingdom:False gharial_cell_0_3_0 AnimaliaFalse gharial_cell_0_3_1
Phylum:False gharial_cell_0_4_0 ChordataFalse gharial_cell_0_4_1
Class:False gharial_cell_0_5_0 ReptiliaFalse gharial_cell_0_5_1
Order:False gharial_cell_0_6_0 CrocodiliaFalse gharial_cell_0_6_1
Family:False gharial_cell_0_7_0 GavialidaeFalse gharial_cell_0_7_1
Subfamily:False gharial_cell_0_8_0 TomistominaeFalse gharial_cell_0_8_1
Genus:False gharial_cell_0_9_0 Tomistoma

Müller, 1846False gharial_cell_0_9_1

Species:False gharial_cell_0_10_0 T. schlegeliiFalse gharial_cell_0_10_1
Binomial nameFalse gharial_header_cell_0_11_0

The false gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii), also known as the Malayan gharial and the Sunda gharial, is a freshwater crocodilian in the family Gavialidae. False gharial_sentence_0

It is native to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java. False gharial_sentence_1

It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as the global population is estimated at around 2,500 to 10,000 mature individuals. False gharial_sentence_2

The specific name schlegelii honors German herpetologist Hermann Schlegel. False gharial_sentence_3

Taxonomy False gharial_section_0

Unlike the gharial, the false gharial's snout broadens considerably towards the base and so is more similar to those of true crocodiles than the gharial, whose osteology indicates a distinct lineage from all other living crocodilians. False gharial_sentence_4

However, preliminary nuclear genetic sequences may indicate the gharial and false gharial had a shared ancestor at some point in prehistory. False gharial_sentence_5

Other molecular studies have similarly indicated that it is the nearest relative (the sister taxon) of the gharial. False gharial_sentence_6

Along with close fossil relatives, such as Maroccosuchus, it is thus increasingly classed in the family Gavialidae. False gharial_sentence_7

Characteristics False gharial_section_1

The false gharial is dark reddish-brown above with dark brown or black spots and cross-bands on the back and tail. False gharial_sentence_8

Ventrals are grayish-white, with some lateral dark mottling. False gharial_sentence_9

Juveniles are mottled with black on the sides of the jaws, body, and tail. False gharial_sentence_10

The smooth and unornamented snout is extremely long and slender, parallel sided, with a length of 3.0 to 3.5 times the width at the base. False gharial_sentence_11

All teeth are long and needle-like, interlocking on the insides of the jaws, and are individually socketed. False gharial_sentence_12

The dorsal scales are broad at midbody and extend onto the sides of the body. False gharial_sentence_13

The digits are webbed at the base. False gharial_sentence_14

Integumentary sensory organs are present on the head and body scalation. False gharial_sentence_15

Scales behind the head are frequently a slightly enlarged single pair. False gharial_sentence_16

Some individuals bear a number of adjoining small keeled scales. False gharial_sentence_17

Scalation is divided medially by soft granular skin. False gharial_sentence_18

Three transverse rows of two enlarged nuchal scales are continuous with the dorsal scales, which consist of 22 transverse rows of six to eight scales, are broad at midbody and extend onto the sides of the body. False gharial_sentence_19

Nuchal and dorsal rows equals a total of 22 to 23 rows. False gharial_sentence_20

It has 18 double-crested caudal whorls and 17 single-crested caudal whorls. False gharial_sentence_21

The flanks have one or two longitudinal rows of six to eight very enlarged scales on each side. False gharial_sentence_22

The false gharial has one of the slimmest snouts of any living crocodilian, perhaps comparable to the slender-snouted crocodile and the freshwater crocodile in the extent of slenderness, only that of the gharial is noticeably more slim. False gharial_sentence_23

The false gharial is a large crocodilian. False gharial_sentence_24

Males can reportedly grow up to 5 m (16 ft) in length. False gharial_sentence_25

Three mature males kept in captivity measured 3.6 to 3.9 m (11 ft 10 in to 12 ft 10 in) and weighed 190 to 210 kg (420 to 460 lb), while a female measured 3.27 m (10 ft 9 in) and weighed 93 kg (205 lb). False gharial_sentence_26

Females have been recorded at lengths of up to 4 m (13 ft 1 in). False gharial_sentence_27

The false gharial apparently has the largest skull of any extant crocodilian, undoubtedly aided by the great length of the slender snout. False gharial_sentence_28

Out of the eight longest crocodilian skulls from existing species that could be found in museums around the world, six of these belonged to false gharials. False gharial_sentence_29

The longest crocodilian skull belonging to an extant species was of this species and measured 84 cm (33 in) in length, with a mandibular length of 104 cm (41 in). False gharial_sentence_30

Most of the owners of these enormous skulls surprisingly had no confirmed (or even anecdotal) total measurements, but based on the known skull-to-total length ratio for the species, they would measure approximately 5.5 to 6.1 m (18 ft 1 in to 20 ft 0 in) in length. False gharial_sentence_31

Distribution and habitat False gharial_section_2

False gharials are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, and Indonesia (Sumatra, and Borneo), but were extirpated in Singapore and Thailand. False gharial_sentence_32

It is unclear if they remain in Java. False gharial_sentence_33

Apart from rivers, they inhabit swamps and lakes. False gharial_sentence_34

The species is almost entirely found today in peat swamps and lowland swamp forests. False gharial_sentence_35

In the 1990s, information and sightings were available from 39 localities in 10 different river drainages, along with the remote river systems of Borneo. False gharial_sentence_36

Prior to the 1950s, Tomistoma occurred in freshwater ecosystems along the entire length of Sumatra east of the Barisan Mountains. False gharial_sentence_37

The current distribution in eastern Sumatra has been reduced by 30-40% due to hunting, logging, fires, and agriculture. False gharial_sentence_38

Ecology and behaviour False gharial_section_3

Diet False gharial_section_4

Until recently, very little was known about the diet or behaviour of the false gharial in the wild. False gharial_sentence_39

Details are slowly being revealed. False gharial_sentence_40

In the past, the false gharial was thought to have a diet of only fish and very small vertebrates. False gharial_sentence_41

But more recent evidence and observation indicate that it has a generalist diet despite its narrow snout. False gharial_sentence_42

In addition to fish and smaller aquatic animals, mature adults prey on larger vertebrates, including proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaques, deer, water birds, and reptiles. False gharial_sentence_43

An eye-witness accounted of a false gharial attacking a cow in East Kalimantan. False gharial_sentence_44

The false gharial may be considered an ecological equivalent to Neotropical crocodiles such as the Orinoco and American crocodiles, which both have slender snouts but a broad diet. False gharial_sentence_45

Reproduction False gharial_section_5

False gharials are mound-nesters. False gharial_sentence_46

Females lay small clutches of 13 to 35 eggs per nest, and appear to produce the largest eggs of extant crocodilians. False gharial_sentence_47

Sexual maturity in females appears to be attained around 2.5 to 3 m (8.2 to 9.8 ft), which is large compared to other crocodilians. False gharial_sentence_48

It is not known when they breed in the wild or when the nesting season is. False gharial_sentence_49

Once the eggs are laid, and construction of the mound is completed, the female abandons her nest. False gharial_sentence_50

Unlike most other crocodilians, the young receive no parental care and are at risk of being eaten by predators, such as mongooses, tigers, leopards, and wild dogs. False gharial_sentence_51

The young hatch after 90 days and are left to fend for themselves. False gharial_sentence_52

Conflict False gharial_section_6

In 2008, a 4-m female false gharial attacked and ate a fisherman in central Kalimantan; his remains were found in the gharial's stomach. False gharial_sentence_53

This was the first verified fatal human attack by a false gharial. False gharial_sentence_54

However, by 2012, at least two more verified fatal attacks on humans by false gharials had occurred indicating perhaps an increase of human-false gharial conflict possibly correlated to the decline of habitat, habitat quality, and natural prey numbers. False gharial_sentence_55

Threats False gharial_section_7

The false gharial is threatened with extinction throughout most of its range due to the drainage of its freshwater swamplands and clearance of surrounding rainforests. False gharial_sentence_56

The species is also hunted frequently for its skin and meat, and the eggs are often harvested for human consumption. False gharial_sentence_57

Conservation False gharial_section_8

The false gharial is listed on . False gharial_sentence_58

Currently population surveys indicate that while the false gharial is not for the most extirpated from areas it used to inhabit, the distribution of individuals is much more spotty than the previously more connective distribution, putting the animals at risk of genetic isolation. False gharial_sentence_59

In large part, the isolation of false gharials is due to extremely extensive habitat destruction and disturbance within the species' area of distribution, few areas outside of legally protected areas are likely to bear viable breeding populations. False gharial_sentence_60

Steps have been taken by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments to prevent its extinction in the wild. False gharial_sentence_61

There are reports of some populations rebounding in Indonesia, yet with this slight recovery, mostly irrational fears of attacks have surfaced amongst the local human population. False gharial_sentence_62

Yayasan Ulin (The Ironwood Foundation) is currently attempting to manage a wetland area in East Kalimantan, which is known to contain the false gharials. False gharial_sentence_63

Fossil record False gharial_section_9

Although Tomistoma schlegelii is the only extant species in the genus Tomistoma, fossils of extinct species have been found in Paleogene, Neogene, and Quaternary-age deposits in Taiwan, Uganda, Italy, Portugal, Egypt, and India, but nearly all of them are likely to be distinct genera due to older age compared to the false gharial. False gharial_sentence_64

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False gharial.