Length: 120 - 276 inches
Weight: 2000 - 3000 lbs
Offspring: 40 - 60
Life Span: 70 years
Also Called: Estuarine Crocodile
The saltwater crocodile is the largest crocodilian and the largest living reptile. Male saltwater crocodiles can reach lengths of 23 feet and females reach lengths of over 10 feet. They have a very large head and very strong jaws. Young saltwater crocodiles are a pale yellow color with black stripes and spots on the body and tail. Adult saltwater crocodiles are a dark color with occasional tan or yellow spots. The underbelly is a pale white color. The saltwater crocodile is able to travel a great distance over open sea. Their great distribution is probably due to this trait.
Saltwater crocodiles are meat eaters. Juvenile crocodiles will eat small mammals, insects, shellfish, and fish. The larger the crocodile the more it can eat. Adult crocodiles will eat snakes, buffalo, domestic cattle, and pretty much anything else it can get. They have been known to eat people.
The saltwater crocodile can be found in coastal waters between Northern Australia and the southern coast of India. They can also be found in freshwater rivers and swamps.
Juvenile saltwater crocodiles are in danger from other crocodiles and various predators. As adults, the saltwater crocodile does not really have to worry about anything but poachers.
Saltwater crocodiles live in loosely organized social groups. They spend a lot of their time trying to keep their body temperature constant. Saltwater crocodiles are also territorial with the best territory being held by the strongest male. However, territory is usually kept through posture and vocalizations and not violence.
Breeding takes place in freshwater areas. Females lay 40 - 60 eggs in mound nests that are made of plant matter. The female stays near the nest to protect it and helps the young dig their way out when they hatch. The female saltwater crocodile will then carry the hatchlings to the water in her mouth.