Gavialis is a genus of crocodylians that includes the living gharial Gavialis gangeticus and one known extinct species, Gavialis bengawanicus.[1] G. gangeticus comes from the Indian Subcontinent,[2] while G. bengawanicus is known from Java. Gavialis likely first appeared in the Indian Subcontinent in the Pliocene and dispersed into the Malay Archipelago through a path called the Siva–Malayan route in the Quaternary.Remains attributed to Gavialis have also been found on Sulawesi and Woodlark Island east of the Wallace Line, suggesting a prehistoric lineage of Gavialis was able to traverse marine environments and reach places possibly as far as western Oceania.[3]

Temporal range: Early Miocene - recent, 20–0 Ma
Gharial san diego.jpg
The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), the only living species of Gavialis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Gavialidae
Subfamily: Gavialinae
Genus: Gavialis
Oppel, 1811
A skull of the extinct Gavialis species G. bengawanicus, which lived in the Pleistocene

The genus Gavialis was reevaluated in 2018 based on specimens in the Natural History Museum, London that were collected in the Sivalik Hills. The author concluded that G. gangeticus and G. bengawanicus are the only two species in the genus Gavialis, with G. hysudricus as a junior synonym of G. gangeticus. Rhamphosuchus is proposed to include G. leptodus, G. pachyrhynchus, G. curvirostris and G. breviceps. The species G. browni and G. lewisi require further revisions.[1] G. dixoni has been assigned its own genus, Dollosuchus.[4]


  1. ^ a b Martin, J. E. (2018). "The taxonomic content of the genus Gavialis from the Siwalik Hills of India and Pakistan" (PDF). Papers in Palaeontology. 0. doi:10.1002/spp2.1247.
  2. ^ Lull, R. S. (1944). "Fossil gavials from north India". American Journal of Science. 242 (8): 417–430. doi:10.2475/ajs.242.8.417.
  3. ^ Delfino, M.; De Vos, J. (2010). "A revision of the Dubois crocodylians, Gavialis bengawanicus and Crocodylus ossifragus, from the Pleistocene Homo erectus beds of Java". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (2): 427. doi:10.1080/02724631003617910.
  4. ^ Swinton, W. E. (1937). "The crocodile of Maransart (Dollosuchus dixoni [Owen])". Mémoires du Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Belgique. 80: 1–44.