Beautiful photos: Father crocodile proudly carries 100 children on his back

A stunning photograph capturing a rare moment of crocodile parenting has won an award and will be featured in a wildlife exhibition. The photograph shows a male freshwater gharial calmly waiting for over 100 of his month-old children to jump onto his back before securely transporting them away. The photograph was taken by Dhritiman Mukherjee, an India-based photographer, who patrolled for weeks in northern India’s National Chambal Sanctuary, home to 500 of the endangered crocodiles.


According to Patrick Campbell, senior reptile curator at London’s Natural History Museum, “Other crocs carry their young about in their mouths. But for the gharial, the unusual morphology of the snout means this is not possible.

So the young have to cling to the head and back for that close connection and protection.” Gharials can measure up to 15 feet (4.5m) long and weigh more than 2,000 lbs. (900kg). Their name comes from the bulbous knobs on the end of the males’ snouts, known as a “ghara”. During mating season, crocodiles use their ghara to intensify their vocalizations and blow bubbles.

The gharial is severely endangered, with just about 650 adults left in India and Nepal’s wild freshwaters. Therefore, it is hoped that all of the baby crocs survive to adulthood and can reproduce. The photograph is a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats.

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