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

Also known as Malayan gharials, they are a unique species of crocodiles well-adapted to an aquatic lifestyle. With their streamlined bodies and powerful tails, they are efficient swimmers, effortlessly navigating through their watery habitats. Notably, Tomistoma possess eyes and nostrils located on the tops of their heads, allowing them to see and breathe while remaining submerged, a feature that enhances their stealthy hunting abilities.

Tomistoma assumes a masterful guise of concealment, often lying motionless beneath the water’s surface. With only its eyes and nostrils breaking the stillness, it patiently awaits the unsuspecting approach of its prey. Fish, amphibians, and various other aquatic creatures move about unaware, drawn by the tranquility of the surroundings.

Tomistoma’s elongated snout and razor-sharp teeth are finely tuned instruments of predation, enabling it to capture and immobilize its prey with remarkable efficiency. Once trapped, the prey has little chance of escape, succumbing swiftly to the formidable jaws of this stealthy hunter.

Despite their impressive adaptations, Tomistoma faces numerous threats to their survival, with habitat loss being a primary concern. Deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion have destroyed and degraded their natural habitats, reducing the availability of suitable breeding and foraging grounds. Additionally, Tomistomas are vulnerable to human activities such as hunting and egg collection. They are prized for their skin and meat, and their eggs are often harvested for consumption, further exacerbating their population decline.