‘Tomistoma,’ the scientific name of false gharial, literally means ‘sharp mouth’

Also known as Malayan gharials, these crocodiles are well suited to an aquatic lifestyle. Their powerful tail aids in swimming, and their sleek body slices through the water. The creatures can see and hear what is going on even when completely submerged since their eyes and nose are on top of their heads.

Fewer than 20 false gharial nests have been recorded in the wild and very little information regarding their habits and reproduction. They are threatened with extinction throughout their range due to habitat loss. Also, they are hunted by humans for skin and meat, and their eggs are collected for consumption.