Awareness of duty takes on a whole new meaning as soon as you see this crocodile swimming with its children. The gavial, a crocodile that has a critical status, waits patiently until a hundred or so youngsters have clambered on his back so that they can safely cross a river in northern India.
Gavials can grow up to 4.5 meters long and weigh over 900 kilograms. And while other crocodilians often carry their young in their big mouths, the gavials are more difficult to do so.
“The unusual morphology of a gavial’s snout does not allow this,” says Patrick Campbell of the Natural History Museum in London. “That’s why the youngsters have to cling to their parents’ heads and backs”.
It already yielded an impressive photograph. Before that, however, Dhritiman Mukherjee, the photographer, had to wander around the National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary in India for weeks.
He was rewarded for his perseverance because his photo was nominated as a contender for the ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ competition.