Gharials are the only known crocodilians to subsist almost entirely on a diet of fish. In the juvenile stage, the species may also consume tadpoles, shrimp, and water insects. Prey is sought by either the "sit and wait" technique, or by actively foraging, and fish are captured with lightning fast lateral swipes of the jaw. Fish are impaled on the sharp teeth and the ghar-ial throws them to the back of the throat by jerking the head upward. The extremely narrow snout of Gavialis reduces friction in the water as compared to broad-snouted crocodilians, another factor contributing to its efficiency as a fish catcher.
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