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#117 Gharial

Critically Endangered

These would be amazing to see in real life. They get to be about 15 feet long, and their jaws are so thin in comparison to other crocodiles. They are the only crocodile where it is easy to tell at a glance which is male and female because the males end up with a bulbous lump on the end of their snout. They are nearing extinction in the wild because of fishing nets, pollution, their eggs are taken for food, they are killed to have parts used in traditional medicines. They are also killed out of fear. They eat fish, and other invertebrates, but they are large and intimidating looking. They have also been known to eat corpses set adrift on the Ganges during funerals, so it is not surprising some would be afraid of them. There are captive breeding programs, and they are in zoos all over the place, but unfortunately attempts to release captive bred ones have failed as they seem unable to adapt to living in the wild. There has been a 95%-98% population decline since about 1945.

To be honest, I almost didn't get the painting done today. I spent most of the day in bed because of my neck acting up. It gets bad enough it can bring me to tears and make me feel sick. I got it started, and when I was fighting off tears (salt water on a watercolour isn't always helpful) I went and hid for some hours until I was able to get back to it again. Now, I'm going to try to get our needy blind old dog to bed. He's like a toddler, needing his drink of water, some loves, and me staying with him with a fan on until he is sound asleep. Then, back to bed and my heating pad again.

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