Saltwater crocodile (sea crocodile) is the most powerful, large, formidable and ruthless representative of the genus of real crocodiles of the crocodile family.
It feels so at ease in both river and sea waters that it can even drive a shark away. This predator lives in areas washed by the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The habitat is east of India, the center of Vietnam and the coast of southeast Asia. For him, Indonesia and New Guinea are the original methods of residence.Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).
The largest number of individuals of this species lives in northern Australia. The combed crocodile is an excellent swimmer, it is found even in the Philippines and Japan. The seychelles crocodiles represented a separate population, but now they are all exterminated.
The appearance of a sea crocodile
The predator owes its name to two crests located on the muzzle. They consist of skin tubercles and go from the eyes to the very end of the muzzle. Only adults have combs; young animals have none. These animals are born weighing 70 grams and with a body length of 25-30 cm. At the age of one year, combed crocodiles already weigh 2.5 kg, and their body length is about 1 meter.
Males become sexually mature when their body reaches a length of 3 meters. For females, this figure is 2.2 meters.
An adult male has a body length of 4 to 5.5 meters, weight ranges from 400 to 1000 kg. Some individuals reach a length of 6 meters and weigh more than one ton.The combed crocodile is a very large predator.
The dimensions of the females are significantly smaller. Their body length varies from 2.5 to 3.5 meters, and their weight is 400-450 kg. The largest combed crocodile was shot dead in the Philippines in 2011. Its length was 6.17 meters and it weighed 1075 kg.
This predator has a large head and strong jaws. Covered with scales consisting of oval scales. The body of young individuals has a pale yellow color. There are black spots on the tail and body. This color in crocodiles holds until puberty, then the skin darkens.
Adults are greenish gray and have light brown spots. Some crocodiles become very dark during puberty. The color of the belly varies from white to yellow. The tail is gray. In the lower part of the body, with the exception of the belly, and on the tail there are dark stripes.
Behavior and NutritionThe jaw of a crocodile is able to firmly grab the victim.
The combed crocodile prefers to lead a solitary lifestyle. Each individual has its own habitat. She also feels good in sea water, but prefers fresh water. In water it can move at a speed of up to 30 km / h, although it often floats at a speed of 3-5 km / h. It prefers to hunt this predator early in the morning and late in the evening, at dusk.
Spends daytime in rest. He settles in the water or thickets of the coast. It feeds on turtles, monitor lizards, fish, rodents, snakes, monkeys, large ungulate animals that come to the reservoir.
During the hunt, the crocodile hides in the water and waits there for prey. Then, swiftly and unexpectedly pouncing, knocks down or captures with jaws. The predator takes prey under water so that the prey chokes. Cases of combed crocodile attacks on humans have been reported only in Australia. A predator attacks either near the shore or on the shore. According to statistics, this reptile kills two people a year, but this is only official data. There is an opinion that some cases are not registered and in fact there are much more victims.A combed crocodile can eat a person.
Reproduction and longevity
These reptiles breed in the rainy season. Saltwater crocodile belongs to oviparous animals. In the clutch there can be from 30 to 90 eggs, usually there are 50-60 of them. Nest equip nearby with water, on any elevation. The female collects branches, dirt, foliage in a heap and bury the masonry there. The diameter of the resulting hill is about 1.6-1.8 meters, it reaches a height of 50 cm. In this heap, a temperature of about 32 degrees Celsius is constantly maintained. Nest equip from year to year in the same place.
The eggs in the clutch lie from 80 to 98 days, then the young hatch from them. All of them are of the same sex, which depends on the temperature that was in the nest during the incubation period. If the temperature was 31.5 degrees, then males are born, if the temperature was a little more or less, then females are born.
Hatching cubs immediately give voice, hearing their squeak, the female rakes the hill, opens the nest and helps the offspring to get out of there. Then she, taking the little crocodiles in her teeth, carries them into the water. The female is next to the offspring while they get used to the aquatic environment. Young animals have a very high mortality rate; only about 5% of the brood survives until adulthood.These reptiles can live up to a hundred years.
The remaining cubs become victims of monitor lizards, turtles, crocodiles and other predators. The first year and a half of life, the cubs live with the female, and then leave for their own territory. From the age of two, crocodiles gain complete independence. The lifespan of these reptiles is up to 65 years. Some experts believe that a crocodile can live 100 years.
Since 1980, combed crocodiles have been on the verge of total annihilation. These animals were captured and killed for their skin, which is much appreciated. Predators were even listed in the Red Book. To date, legislation has limited the capture of crocodiles. There is a practice of growing them on special farms. In particular, they do this in India.
The largest population lives in Australia, about 120 thousand of these animals live there. To date, the number of combed crocodiles has a stable level and does not cause concern.