Gharial: A Riddle Poem – Marlowe Whittenberg

 I have nobs on my narrow snout
 I have over one hundred teeth
 I am the world’s largest reptile
 I am the closest living relative to the dinosaurs
 I like to eat fish, small mammals, and frogs
 I like to swim, crawl, and run
 I live in deep rivers and sand banks in India
 I live my life through the night, sleeping during the day
 I can mate under water
 I can puff out my neck
 I am hunted for my skin and meat
 I am turned into shoes, wallets, and souvenirs
 There’s only 200 left of me in the wild...
 (I wish there were more)
 (I miss my friends and family)
 Who am I?


 Notes: I picked the gharial because I like the saw shark and reptiles and the gharial is a combination of them both. Plus, the gharial is huge. It can get up to 20 feet long and weigh up to 1,500 pounds.
 Over two billion dollars’ worth of crocodile products are sold each year. I’m sad and mad because people are killing these gharials and other reptiles.   
 Scientists are working with gharials in captivity to help them mate so there will be more of them.
 I would like to join the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (INCN) to help protect them.
 Thank you to the helpful, knowledgeable staff at the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University for the information I gathered on crocodiles, endangered animals and our endangered planet. 

Marlowe Whittenberg is an avid soccer player.  He loves graphic novels and hopes to be a botanist someday.

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