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Reptiles

The Indian wildlife in Corbett National Park includes many species of reptiles and marine life. You can see many of these reptiles and fishes in Corbett National Park, in the rivers and streams that criss cross the forest area, on Indian Wildlife Tours with Indian Holiday. The diversity of Indian wildlife in Corbett National Park, makes it one of India's leading national parks. Apart from the large and better-known mammals such as tigers and elephants, you can also see reptiles and fishes in Corbett National Park.

Tiger

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is perhaps the most celebrated of the wild animals of India. It is symbolises the power of Nature and finds an important place in our culture, mythology and legends. It has been worshiped as the guardian and ruler of the forest.
Tigers are believed to have evolved in East Asia (China) about 2 million years ago. They then dispersed to other parts of Asia. There existed eight subspecies of tiger, out of which three have gone extinct.


The Asian Elephant

The elephant, largest of the land mammals, has been an integral part of the history, mythology, tradition, culture and religion of India. There are three surviving species of elephants in the world, one in Asia and two in Africa. The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is distributed in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Unlike the African species, Asian elephants have been domesticated for thousands of years and have been used in medieval warfare, for temples, and as a working animal.


Deer

Corbett has four species of deer. They are the most frequently sighted large mammals in the Park.
Chital (Axis axis) or Spotted deer is the commonest of deer species of Corbett. It is also the most beautiful, with characteristic white spots on its reddish -brown body. Only male chital have antlers that may grow up to 1 m length. These antlers are periodically shed and a new set developed every time.


Para or Hog Deer

Para or Hog Deer (Axis porcinus) is the rarest of Corbett’s deer. It is closely related to the chital but is smaller in size. Unlike most other deer, the hog deer is not given to leaping over obstacles but instead, it escapes its predators by crouching low, ducking under obstacles. Its limbs are short and its hind legs are longer than the fore legs. This anatomy raises its rump to a higher level than the shoulders.


Sambar

Sambar (Cervus unicolor) is the largest deer found in Corbett. Its body is largely a uniform greyish-brown in colour, except for the creamy white on the backsides and under-tail areas. Males have antlers up to 1 m long that are periodically shed and replaced. Male sambar also have dense manes on their necks.


Kakar or Barking Deer

The body colour is golden tan on the dorsal (upper) side and is lighter on the undersides. Male kakar have short antlers growing on long, bony projections called burrs. In place of antlers, females possess only bony knob-like burrs on their head. Males also have tusk-like upper canine teeth curving sharply outwards from the lips.


Leopard

The Leopard (Panthera pardus) is the other large cat found in Corbett. Compared to the tiger leopards are smaller, more graceful and have a long agile body that has rosettes instead of stripes. It also has the ability to limb trees. Leopards are quite versatile, adaptable to a variety of terrains as well as to a broad range of prey that includes everything from insects and rodents up to large ungulates. Leopards mostly hunt during twilight hours and at night. They also ambush their prey by jumping down from trees.


Gharial and Mugger

Corbett has two of India’s three crocodilian species. It is considered to be one of the best spots to see the Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), one of the largest and most endangered crcodilians of the world. It is found only in the Indian subcontinent. It gets its name from the ‘ghara’ or pot like structure on the snout that is present only in males.
The gharial’s slender snout is adapted to eat fish so it does not attack humans or larger mammals. Young gharials may eat invertebrates and insects.


Herpetofauna

Reptiles live in a great variety of habitats. But apart from the gharial and mugger the other reptiles of Corbett have not been studied in great detail. Several species of snakes have been reported from here, including the King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) and Indian Cobra (Naja naja). Indian Rock Pythons (Python molurus) are frequently sighted and there also exist several kinds of vipers, kraits and boas.
The Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis) is the most imposing of Corbett’s lizards. The list includes nine other species of Agamas, Geckos and Skinks


Mahseer and other Fishes

Corbett is home to many species of freshwater fish. The Ramganga, Palain, Sonanadi and Mandal rivers, provide vital habitat and breeding grounds for them because of moderate temperature, low gradient,presence of deep pools and boulders and gravel on stream beds, and negligible pollution. Fish form a fundamental link in the food chain for many key species like the gharial, otters, fish-eagles, kingfishers, ospreys, storks, fish-owls, egrets, darters and pelicans.
The most celebrated of the fishes is the Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora), a large freshwater river fish belonging to the carp family. It has a magnificent appearance – sap green body with bright orange scales. Mahseer is considered to be one of the most prized fish for anglers all over the world.