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Encyclopedia > Saltwater Crocodile
Saltwater Crocodile

Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Subfamily: Crocodylinae
Genus: Crocodylus
Species: C. porosus
Binomial name
Crocodylus porosus
(Schneider, 1801)
Range of the Saltwater Crocodile in black
Range of the Saltwater Crocodile in black

The Saltwater or Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the largest of all living crocodilians and reptiles. It is found in suitable habitat throughout Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Saltwater crocodiles are known in the Northern Territory of Australia as "salties". The Alligator Rivers are misnamed after the resemblance of the "saltie" to alligators as compared to freshwater crocodiles, which also inhabit the Northern Territory. Image File history File linksMetadata SaltwaterCrocodile('Maximo').jpg Summary Source: http://library. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... Least Concern (LC) is an IUCN category assigned to extant species or lower taxa which have been evaluated but do not qualify for any other category. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Reptilia redirects here. ... black: range of Crocodilia Families Gavialidae Alligatoridae Crocodylidae Crocodilia is an order of large reptiles that appeared about 84 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous Period (Campanian stage). ... Genera Crocodylus Osteolaemus Tomistoma A crocodile can be any of the 14 species of large, water-loving reptiles in the family Crocodylidae (sometimes classified instead as the subfamily Crocodylinae). ... Genera Crocodylus Osteolaemus Tomistoma A crocodile can be any of the 14 species of large, water-loving reptiles in the family Crocodylidae (sometimes classified instead as the subfamily Crocodylinae). ... This article needs to be wikified. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Johann Gottlob Schneider (January 18, 1750 - January 12, 1822), German classical scholar and naturalist, was born at Koilmen in Saxony. ... The Union Jack, flag of the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ... Image File history File links Crocodylus_porosus_range. ... A crocadilian is a crocodile-like dinosaur. ... Reptilia redirects here. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... For similar terms, see Northern Territories (disambiguation) Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004... The Alligator Rivers is the name of a region in Arnhem Land containing three rivers the East, West and South Alligator River. ... For other uses, see Alligator (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Crocodylus johnstoni (Krefft, 1873) Range of the Freshwater Crocodile in black The Freshwater Crocodile also known as Johnstons Crocodile or Freshies are found in the northern regions of Australia. ...


Anatomy and morphology

An average adult male saltwater crocodile is typically 15.75 to 16.6 feet (4.8 to 5 meters) long, and weighs roughly 770 kilograms (1,700 pounds). Females are much smaller than males, with typical female body lengths in the range of 7 to 9 ft (2.1 to 2.7 m).[1] The saltwater crocodile has fewer armor plates on its neck than other crocodilians, and its broad body contrasts with that of most other lean crocodiles, leading to early unverified assumptions that the reptile was an alligator.[1] A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... The international prototype, made of platinum-iridium, which is kept at the BIPM under conditions specified by the 1st CGPM in 1889. ... Look up pound in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

The largest size saltwater crocodiles can reach is the subject of considerable controversy. The longest crocodile ever measured snout-to-tail was the skin of a deceased crocodile, which was 20.3 ft (6.2 m) long. Since skins tend to shrink slightly after removal from the carcass, this crocodile's living length was estimated at 20.6 ft (6.3 m), and it probably weighed well over 1,200 kg (2,600 lbs).[2]. Incomplete remains (the skull of a crocodile shot in Orrissa[3]) have been claimed to come from a 25 ft (7.6 m) crocodile, but scholarly examination suggested a length no greater than 23 ft (7 m).[2]. The life expectancy of a Saltwater crocodile is approximately 70 years [1]

With recent restoration in saltwater crocodile habitat and reduced poaching, it is possible that 23 ft (7 m) or larger crocodiles are alive today.[4] Guinness has accepted a claim of a 23 ft (7 m) male Saltwater Crocodile living within Bhitarkanika Park in the state of Orissa, India,[3][5] although no verified measurements have been made. Suresh Joachim, minutes away from breaking the ironing world record at 55 hours and 5 minutes, at Shoppers World, Brampton. ...

A crocodile shot in Queensland in 1957 was reported to be 26 ft (8 m) long, but no verified measurements were made and no remains of this crocodile exist. A "replica" of this crocodile has been made as a tourist attraction.[6][7][8] Many other unconfirmed reports of 26+ ft (8+ m) crocodiles have been made[9][10] but these are highly suspect.[2]


Saltwater crocodiles are severely depleted in numbers through much of their range, with sightings in areas such as Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam becoming extremely rare and the species may in fact even be extinct in one or more of these countries. However, it is also the least likely of crocodilians to become globally extinct due to its wide distribution and almost pre-colonial population sizes in Northern Australia and New Guinea. In India this crocodile is extremely rare in most areas but is very common in the north eastern part of the country (mainly Orissa and the Sunderbans). The population is sporadic in Indonesia and Malaysia with some areas harboring large populations (Borneo, for example) and others with very small, "at risk" populations (e.g., the Philippines). The saltwater crocodile is also present in very limited portions of the South Pacific, with an average population in the Solomon Islands, a very small and soon to be extinct population in Vanuatu (where the population officially stands at only three) and a decent but at-risk population (which may be rebounding) in Palau.[1] , Orissa   (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଶା), is a state situated on the east coast of India. ... Where the land meets the sea at the southern tip of West Bengal lies the Indian Sunderbans, a stretch of impenetrable mangrove forest of great size and bio-diversity. ... Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located at the centre of Maritime Southeast Asia. ...

Saltwater crocodiles once ranged as far west as the east coast of Africa at the Seychelles Islands. These crocodiles were once believed to be a population of Nile crocodiles, but they were later proven to be Crocodylus porosus.[1] A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... The Republic of Seychelles (say-SHELLS or say-SHELL) (Creole: Repiblik Sesel) is a nation of islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,600 km east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. ... Binomial name (Laurenti, 1768) The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is one of the 4 species of crocodiles found in Africa, and the second largest species of crocodile. ...

it is the biggest reptil in the wrold


Saltwater crocodiles generally spend the tropical wet season in freshwater swamps and rivers, moving downstream to estuaries in the dry season, and sometimes traveling far out to sea. Crocodiles compete fiercely with each other for territory, with dominant males in particular occupying the most eligible stretches of freshwater creeks and streams. Junior crocodiles are thus forced into the more marginal river systems and sometimes into the ocean. This explains the large distribution of the animal (ranging from the east coast of India to northern Australia) as well as its being found in odd places on occasion (such as the Sea of Japan). Saltwater crocodiles can swim 15 to 18 miles per hour in short bursts, but when cruising go 2 to 3 mph.

Saltwater Crocodile sunning itself at Corroboree in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1914x1226, 1826 KB) Photographer: Paul Thomsen (WILDFOTO.COM.AU) Subject: Saltwater Crocodile Location: Northern Territory, Australia I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1914x1226, 1826 KB) Photographer: Paul Thomsen (WILDFOTO.COM.AU) Subject: Saltwater Crocodile Location: Northern Territory, Australia I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ...


Saltwater crocodile jumping up in Kakadu National Park
Saltwater crocodile jumping up in Kakadu National Park

The saltwater crocodile is an opportunistic apex predator capable of taking animals up to the size of an adult male water buffalo, either in the water or on dry land. They have also been known to attack humans. Juveniles are restricted to smaller items such as insects, amphibians, crustaceans, small reptiles and fish. The larger the animal grows, the greater the variety of items it includes in the diet, although relatively small prey make up an important part of the diet even in adults. Saltwater crocodiles can eat monkeys, kangaroo, wild boar, dingos, goannas, birds, domestic livestock, pets, water buffalo, gaur, leopards, sharks[11][12], and humans[13][4], among other large animals as well. Generally very lethargic – a trait which helps it survive months at a time without food – it typically loiters in the water or basks in the sun through much of the day, preferring to hunt at night. Capable of explosive bursts of speed when launching an attack from the water, many species of crocodile are also capable of fast land-movement. Many crocodiles are capable of explosive charges that can carry them nearly as fast as a running human. The 23 species of crocodile can travel over land using the belly crawl, the walk, the high-walk, and the gallop. However, stories of crocodiles being faster than a race horse for short distances across the ground are little more than urban legend. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Kakadu National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km east of Darwin. ... For other uses, see Crocodile (disambiguation). ... Apex predators (also alpha predators, superpredators, or top-level predators) are predators that, as adults, are not normally preyed upon in the wild in significant parts of their ranges. ... For the controversy at the University of Pennsylvania, see Water buffalo incident. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... For other uses, see Amphibian (disambiguation). ... For the Dutch band, see Crustacean (band). ... Reptilia redirects here. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Prey can refer to: Look up Prey in Wiktionary, the free dictionary A prey animal eaten by a predator in an act called predation. ... Approximate worldwide distribution of monkeys. ... Species Macropus rufus Macropus giganteus Macropus fuliginosus Macropus antilopinus A kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning large foot). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, the Red Kangaroo, the Antilopine Kangaroo, and the Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroo... Binomial name Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758 The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) is the wild ancestor of the domesticated pig. ... For other uses, see Dingo (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Goanna (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... For the controversy at the University of Pennsylvania, see Water buffalo incident. ... Binomial name Bos gaurus H. Smith, 1827 Range map The Gaur (IPA gauɹ) (Bos gaurus, previously Bibos gauris) is a large, dark-coated ox of South Asia and Southeast Asia. ... This article is about the animal. ... For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ... This article is about modern humans. ... Fatigue is a feeling of excessive tiredness or lethargy, with a desire to rest, perhaps to sleep. ...

As an ambush predator, it usually waits for its prey to get close to the water's edge before striking without warning and using its great strength to drag the animal back into the water. Most prey animals are killed by the great jaw pressure of the crocodile, although some animals may be incidentally drowned. It is an immensely powerful animal, having the strength to drag a fully grown water buffalo into a river, or crush a full-grown bovid's skull between its jaws. Subfamilies Bovinae Cephalophinae Hippotraginae Antilopinae Caprinae A bovid is any of almost 140 species of cloven-hoofed mammals belonging to the family Bovidae. ...

In its most deadly attack, called the "death roll," it grabs onto the animal and rolls powerfully. This is designed to initially throw any struggling large animal off balance making it easier to drag it into the water. The "death roll" is also used for tearing apart large animals once they are dead.

Although Saltwater crocodiles are very dangerous animals, attacks on humans are infrequent. Most attacks by adult "salties" are fatal, given the animals' size and strength. In Australia, attacks are rare and usually make headlines when they do occur. There are, on average, no more than one or two fatal attacks reported per year in the country[citation needed]. The low level of attacks is most likely due to the extensive effort by local wildlife officials to post crocodile "warning" signs at nearly every billabong, river, lake and even at some beaches and also due to the relatively well-informed nature of the local citizens. In the Aboriginal community of Arnhem Land, which occupies roughly half of the top end of the Northern Territory, attacks may go unreported and may be more common. Arnhem Land is an area of 97,000 km² in the north-eastern corner of the Northern Territory, Australia. ...


Head of a Crocodylus porosus
Head of a Crocodylus porosus

Dr. Adam Britton, a researcher with Big Gecko, has been studying crocodilian intelligence. In so doing, he has compiled a collection of Australian saltwater crocodile calls, and associated them with behaviors. His position is that while crocodilian brains are much smaller than those of mammals (as low as 0.05% of body weight in the saltwater crocodile), they are capable of learning hard tasks with very little conditioning. He also infers that the crocodile calls hint at a deeper language ability than currently accepted. He suggests that saltwater crocodiles are clever animals that can possibly learn faster than lab rats. They have also learned to track the migratory route of their prey as the climate changes. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3053 × 2035 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3053 × 2035 pixel, file size: 3. ...


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ...


  1. ^ a b c d 'Crocodylus porosus' (Schneider, 1801), by Adam Britton from the Crocodilian Species List.
  2. ^ a b c Which is the largest species of crocodile?
  3. ^ a b Guinness: India Park Home to World's Largest Crocodile; 23 Feet
  4. ^ a b Seven-metre maneating crocodile shot dead, Daily Telegraph
  5. ^ World's Largest Reptile Found in India: Giant estuarine crocodile finds place in Guinness World Records
  6. ^ Facing up to a monster croc
  7. ^ NORMANTON - Home of largest Crocodile ever shot!
  8. ^ Krys the crocodile, Normanton, Queensland
  9. ^ Warm, fuzzy, weird, funny: The Museum(s) of Natural History spin some tall tales, Alvin Powell, Harvard Gazette
  10. ^ Saltwater Crocodile at National Geographic
  11. ^ No Bull: Saltwater Crocodile Eats Shark
  12. ^ photograph of crocodile eating a shark
  13. ^ Mother's tug-of-war with child-eating crocodile

Marshall, Ben "The Crocodile" New York Publishers Inc. 1999

See also

Nile crocodile Crocodile attacks of people are not uncommon in places where crocodiles are native. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Genera Achillobator Adasaurus Bambiraptor Cryptovolans Dromaeosaurus Deinonychus Gracilraptor Microraptor Pyroraptor Saurornitholestes Sinornithosaurus Utahraptor Variraptor Velociraptor Among the dinosaurs, the Dromaeosaurids or Dromaeosauridae (running lizards) were fast and agile dominant carnivores throughout the Cretaceous period. ...

  Results from FactBites:
crocodile: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (2889 words)
Crocodiles are considered very valuable for the leather obtained from their hides, and all species are becoming very rare owing to hunting and to the loss of their habitats through land development for other uses.
In this latter crocodile it was actually the skin that was measured by zoologist Jerome Montague, and as skins are known to underestimate the size of the actual animal, it is possible this crocodile was at least another 10 cm longer.
Crocodiles are more closely related to birds and dinosaurs than to most animals classified as reptiles, the three being included in the group Archosauria ('ruling reptiles').
  More results at FactBites »



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