Thursday, April 25, 2019

Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater crocodiles are the real deal. They are the massive crocs of Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter. I've always wanted to see one, and now I have, in Bundala National Park in Sri Lanka. However, all crocs are not created equal and the ones we saw were not as massive or as impressive as the Nile crocodiles we saw in Masai Mara, that feast on wildebeest and zebra. 

The saltwater crocodile, also known as the sea crocodile, and saltie. are found from India's east coast and Sri Linka, along the shores of Southeast Asia and down through the islands of Indonesia to  the shores of Northern Australia where they have been burned into our consciousness. 

Males rarely grow longer than 20 feet and 2,400 pounds, but it is estimated that the largest males grow to 23 feet and 4,400 pounds. Females are half that, 10 feet. It has a wider snout than most crocodiles, but a longer snout than the mugger crocodile which is considered to have the widest snout. 
It has oval scales, smaller scutes and fewer armor plates on its neck than other crocodiles. Adults have broad bodies compared to other crocodiles that are relatively lean. Adults are greenish drab, often with some lighter tan or gray areas. 
There are color variations, some being fairly pale and others blackish. The tails are gray with dark bands. 
Weight increases exponentially at some point as they get larger. Adults 19 feet, 8 inches, weigh more than twice those that are 16 feet. Dominant males maintain the best territories with access to the most abundant prey. It is most closely related to the mugger crocodile, which we also saw in Sri Lanka, and the Siamese crocodile. 
They have the strongest bite of any animal, but most of the force is for biting down. It is much less strong for opening the jaw, so the jaws can be securely shut with several layers of duct tape. 

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. We should have tried out that duct tape idea. These crocs look so prehistoric!