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Saltwater Crocodile

The Saltwater Crocodile also known as the estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles. This is a formidable, opportunistic and adaptable predator who ranges over a considerable range. It is found in suitable habitats from Northern Australia through Southeast Asia to the eastern coast of India, historically ranging as far west as off the eastern coast of Africa and as far east as waters off of Japan. Occasionally, the saltwater crocodile attacks and kills humans, although conflicts are generally one-sided in favor of humans, as this crocodilian has a highly valued hide.

Habitat Edit

Saltwater crocodiles generally spend the tropical wet season in freshwater swamps and rivers, moving downstream to estuaries in the dry season, and sometimes travelling 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 the odd places on occasion (such as the Sea of Japan).

Food Edit

The saltwater crocodile is an opportunistic apex predator capable of taking nearly any animal that enters its territory, either in the water or on dry land. Like most crocodilians, they are unpicky eaters who readily vary their prey selection based on availability, but are not voracious eaters, as they are able to survive on relatively little food for a prolonged period. The Saltwater crocodile may take animals of almost any variety as it becomes available to them and, due to the enormous power and size of the species, it may take the broadest of prey species of any modern crocodilian. Juveniles are restricted to smaller animals such as insects, amphibians, crustaceans, small reptiles, and fish. The larger the animal grows, the greater the variety of animals it includes in its diet, although relatively small aquatic prey (especially fish) make up an important part of the diet even in adults. Large adult saltwater crocodiles can potentially eat any animal within their range, including kangaroos, feral pigs, dingos, snakes, turtles, goannas, birds, domestic livestock, pets, humans, gaurs, bats, and even sharks. They are dominant over other crocodilians, regularly out competing them and occasionally killing and eating other species, as has been recorded largely with freshwater crocodiles in Australia. In 2011, a large saltwater crocodile killed a Bengal tiger when the tiger was crossing a river. Domestic cattle, horses, water buffalo, and gaur, all of which may weigh over a ton, are considered the largest prey taken by male crocodiles. Perhaps the Asian elephant and the Asian rhinoceros species are the only non-marine animal in this species' range that this crocodile has not been known to predate. They are known to attack humans who enter their territory.

RelatedEdit

Nile Crocodile

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