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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Oh bizarre gharial

By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 5 December 2013





Oh you bizarre gharial you, how I love your features

With the thinnest (relative) snout, of the Animal Kingdom’s creatures

One of the largest species, of all the world’s croc-kind

You’re really quite unique, when all your features are combined

Your legs so weak and measly, can’t get your body off the ground

And your only real defence, is a puny hissss-ing sound

Though your snout is lined with teeth, it’s their thin needle-shape

That makes me think it wouldn’t be hard to make a great escape

In rivers you’re like a fish, but you’re cumbersome on land

So when the dry season comes, you just lie there on the sand

But as with other crocs*, your parental urge is keen

You dig out all your hatchlings, so now- I don’t want to demean

As you’d take them all to water, where they’re safer and can swim

But you just can’t pick them up, coz your snout’s so crazy thin

And yet your skull (here featured), is my favourite in our collections

Though I think it’s your HUGE size, that won over my affections


*Short for crocodilians (which includes the gharials), not crocodiles (which does not).


Emma-Louise Nicholls is the Curatorial Assistant at the Grant Museum of Zoology


4 Responses to “Oh bizarre gharial”

  • 1
    Marette Hickford wrote on 5 December 2013:

    I liked the poem but most people will call crocodiles ‘crocs’ for short!

  • 2
    Emma-Louise Nicholls wrote on 9 December 2013:

    Indeed we do, hence my little explanation 😉
    Ahh, the problems of fitting things into verse!

  • 3
    Lorna Steel wrote on 14 January 2014:

    Cool! I think you could have fitted ‘crocodilians’ into that line without any serious damage to the verse. Wait ’til you see my new croc(odile) tattoo. Can I post a photo here?

  • 4
    Emma-Louise Nicholls wrote on 14 January 2014:

    Of course! (Unless it’s explicit ;-D) Glad you enjoyed the poem, the ‘croc’ shortening was a tough call!

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