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Fly to land of fox & dolphin

- Museum opens doors

The new office, as well as museum, of Zoological Survey of India, Patna, christened Gangetic Plains Regional Centre at Bahadurpur Housing Colony was inaugurated in the presence of K. Venkataraman, director, regional headquarters, Calcutta, on Tuesday. There are around 500 carcasses on display at the museum

Gangetic dolphin

A preserved carcass of a Gangetic dolphin found near Patna in 1978-79. “The mammal’s weight at the time of birth varies from 3.5 to 4kg, while as an adult, its weight goes up to around 125kg. Completely blind, this dolphin uses eco-location to find its food,” said Gopal Sharma, scientist and officer in charge of Zoological Survey of India, Patna

Fish hawk

A well-preserved carcass of a fish hawk can be spotted in front of the museum’s entrance. A member of the raptor family, the bird can be over 60cm in length with a wing span of 180cm. “A fish hawk flies parallel to the sea surface and catches a fish as soon as it can be spotted at the surface,” said Gopal

Gangetic gharial

The carcass of a Gangetic gharial is kept in a container on the north-western corner of the museum. “We spotted this gharial near the confluence of the Ganga and Gandak near Patna in 2007. It weighs 5.5kg and is around 1m long. In Bihar, most Gangetic gharials can be seen in the Gandak near the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in West Champaran,” said Gopal

Indian flying fox

This bat has a wing-span of up to 2 feet. Gopal said it is named the flying fox, as its face resembles that of a fox. However, this species only eats fruits. The Indian flying fox is mostly spotted at the Valmiki Tiger Reserve


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