- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Crocodylia
- Family: Crocodylidae
- Genus: Crocodylus
- Species: C. porosus
The species is most closely related to the nile and mugger crocodiles. Like many other crocodiles, the estuarine crocodile is a descendant of the deinosuchus, a crocodile that lived with and known to have possibly eaten dinosaurs.
Saltwater crocodiles, also referred to as estuarine crocodiles or "salties", are some of the largest modern crocodiles alive, and are known for their aggressive nature. They are said to account for several annual human deaths.
The estuarine crocodile is known to reside in freshwater marshes and swamps during wet seasons, but moves out into estuaries or fairly far out to sea during dry season. Geographically, estuarine crocodiles are found in different areas of Micronesia, Australia, and the Philippines. They also are found in the oceans surrounding these areas.
Estuarine crocodiles are very efficient carnivores. They have a very wide range of prey due to the different types of environments their tolerance to salinity gives them. Their prey includes mud crabs, birds, buffalo, turtles, snakes, wild boar, fish, and monkeys. When they are young, they tend to eat insects, amphibians, small fish, and small crustaceans. Estuarine crocodiles are not picky eaters, however, and will eat almost anything that enters its domain, including humans.
Socially, estuarine crocodiles tend to be alone and hunt solitarily. This can change when huge numbers of buffalo and boar gather, and when this happens they tend to converge, but not work together. Estuarine crocodiles are known to be incredibly lethargic, and spend most of their days lounging around in the sun to keep themselves at the right temperature. Their slow digestive system and tendency to eat incredibly large animals allows for this. However, when they need to, they move incredibly efficiently and in impressive bursts of speed.
SIZE AND WEIGHTS
13-18 feet long; has been known to grow beyond 20 feet long
9-12 inches long
2.5 ounces on average
- The hide of the crocodiles is very valued and is considered a luxury
- In WWII at the Battle of Ramree, February 19, 1945, Japanese soldiers were surrounded and attempted to retreat through a swamp. When retreating through the swamp, horrible casualties were inflicted by saltwater crocodiles. American soldiers remark hearing Japanese soldiers scream as they were attacked and eaten by estuarine crocodiles. The area had been known to be the home of an unusually large number of crocodiles. Up to 200 casualties were inflicted
- Has been reported as far out as Iwo Jima, Fiji, and in the Sea of Japan
- Known as the smartest reptile alive
- One of the most dangerous animals to humans