A very good sign is the image of Father Crocodile carrying more than 100 baby crocodiles on his back.

In this striking photograph, a father crocodile is swimming in a river in India, and he is carrying something extraordinary on his back.

Your load? Baby crocodiles, dozens of them. Look closely. Can you count them all?

There are over 100 tiny tails and pointy, scaly snouts swarming over their dad, literally covering his huge back as he swims through the river.

The river is located in the Chambal National Sanctuary in northern India. and the extraordinarily disgusting photograph was taken by photographer and conservationist Dhrіtіmаn Mukherjee, who reportedly spends 280 days a year in the countryside, and has seen some extraordinary sights across northern India and beyond.

Mukherjee uses his wonderful talent as a photographer to promote the cause of wildlife conservation. This extraordinary image of a father crocodile carrying his one-month-old offspring on his back highlights a critically endangered species known as the gharial crocodile: a freshwater crocodile native to northern India.

Many decades ago, there were about 20,000 specimens like this dad living in the wild. Due to habitat loss, since the 1930s, their numbers have declined to about 1,000 mature individuals today.

Gharial crocodiles live throughout South Asia. But two-thirds of their numbers are found in the sanctuary of Uttar Pradesh in northern India.

The incredible photograph taken by Mukherjee was submitted to the Natural History Museum in London in the prestigious photographer of the year competition in 2020 (which was held online due to the lockdown). and generated a lot of excitement, as it is indeed a rare and significant sight.

He took the photo from a safe distance, wisely.

Mukherjee told the BBC: “This male had mated with seven or eight females, and you can see he was very involved.

“Normally, the gharial is a fairly shy crocodile compared to saltwater and swamp crocodiles. But this one was very protective and if he got too close, he would charge me. “It could be very aggressive.”

This exotic crocodile differs from other crocodile species, such as the Nile and saltwater crocodiles found in Africa and Australia, respectively, in that the gharial has a narrow snout with a distinct bulge at the end.

According to Patrick Campbell, senior curator at the Natural History Museum in London, there is a purpose for this peculiar adaptation. “It is a structure that allows vocal sounds to be amplified,” he says.

and as can be seen in Mukherjee’s photo, she handles her offspring in a peculiar way: piggyback style; Not all crocodile species carry their young in this way.

“Other crocodiles carry their babies in their mouths, very carefully, of course,” adds Campbell. “But for the gharial, the unusual morphology of the snout means this is not possible. Therefore, young people have to hold on to their heads and come back for that close connection and protection.”

The name “gharial” comes from the Hindu word “ghar”, which is a type of clay pot. This fascinating species is one of the largest crocodiles that exist today.

Its decline, beginning in the 1930s, was mainly due to dams and barges that disrupted its river habitat, and sand mining and rock removal. damaging their nesting environment, according to the BBC. and there is a constant danger of becoming entangled in fishing gear.

However, both India and Pakistan have helped the species recover through captive breeding programs. and the photograph taken by Mukherjee is a sign of hope for the future of the species: it shows countless young, each with the potential to grow, mature and mate, to produce countless more gharial crocodiles.

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