In the world there are about 23 species of crocodiles, and the largest among them is the combed crocodile. The body length of males can reach 7 meters. In addition, they are the most dangerous. It is combed crocodiles that inspire fear in the local population of small villages located near water bodies.
Saltwater crocodile or marine crocodile (Latin Crocodylus porosus) (English Saltwater crocodile, Australian Salt Water Crocodile)
These reptiles are also famous for the fact that they are great lovers of long distance swimming. Saltwater crocodiles feel great in both fresh and salt water. Therefore, they can safely swim out into the open ocean and be there for a little over a month. They feel just as comfortable in small freshwater rivers and ponds. During their stay in the open ocean, males can swim up to 1000 kilometers! In females, this record is smaller - only 590 kilometers. But how do they do it?
Scientists believe that this is possible due to their ability to do without food for a long time. In extreme cases, they can snack on the way with a small shark. In addition, oceanic currents periodically help crocodiles.
Caught a shark
Due to the ability of distant swims and the possibility of existence in both salt and fresh water, their habitat is quite extensive. In the west, they can be found, starting from India, along the coastline of all Southeast Asia and to the Philippines. In the south, it is found in northern Australia and New Guinea, in the east - to the western part of the Caroline Islands. You can even meet him in Japan.
This crocodile is called differently: sea crocodile, brackish crocodile. But its most common name is the combed crocodile. It appeared due to two rows of ridges extending from the eyes in the center of the muzzle.
Combs in the tail of the body
The huge jaws strewn with large and sharp teeth inspire particular horror. In total there are 64-68 teeth. Compared to other types of crocodiles, his belly has rather small scales, which practically do not form secondary skin ossifications (osteoderm).
Their color does not differ in variety and brightness. Adult individuals are olive-green or olive-brown in color with light brown or gray areas, young crocodiles are light yellow, with black stripes and spots scattered throughout the body.
Young combed crocodile Adult
We already mentioned casually about the sizes, but to do it again will not be superfluous. Males can reach 7 meters, although their average length is 5-5.5 meters. Females are smaller - only 2.5-3 meters. The weight of the largest males can reach tons, although the average weight of a 5-meter crocodile is about 400-500 kilograms.
It's no secret that all crocodiles are predators. Well then what about the largest crocodile in the world! His diet is very diverse. Young crocodiles eat small fish, amphibians, large insects, various crustaceans. It's not so scary. But for adults, give larger food: antelopes, monkeys, livestock, poultry. They also will not give up crabs, turtles and snakes. Although crocodiles eat carrion, they still prefer fresh meat.
A person should also stay away from them. But attacks can be avoided. Just do not need to climb into their territory.
During the hunt, the crocodile is completely immersed in water, and only nostrils and eyes remain on the surface. In the muddy waters of small rivers such a “disguise” works flawlessly. He watches for the prey at the watering place and when the victim comes very close, imperceptibly swims to the animal, grabs him by the face and with a sharp movement of the head to the side turns the prey to the neck. If the victim cannot be dragged into the water the first time, then a huge tail comes into play, with the help of which the crocodile knocks the animal down, and then drags it into the water.
Coaches the victim at a watering hole
In order to sink to the bottom without problems, the combed crocodile swallows several rather large stones that act as ballast.
During the breeding season, which occurs in November-March, combed crocodiles move to fresh water bodies. Larger and stronger males drive out weaker or younger males from these places.
The female builds a large nest from fallen leaves and grass, the diameter of which can reach 7 meters and a height of 1 meter. In it, the female lays from 25 to 90 eggs, but on average their number is 50 pieces. Then she buries them with this foliage and stays nearby. After 80-90 days, crocodiles appear, who, using a squeak (from an egg) call their mother for help. The female digs up the nest and helps them free themselves from the shell. For some time, the cubs continue to stay close to their mother.
It is interesting that depending on what temperature was in the nest during the incubation period, the percentage ratio between males and females in the brood will depend. If the temperature held around 31.6 C, then there will be more males. If there are deviations in any direction, then the females will hatch more.
In the world, products made from the skin of these crocodiles are very highly valued. Because of this, a decent amount of these animals was exterminated from 1945 to the 1970s. Now, to preserve this species of crocodiles, special commercial farms for their breeding have been created. The largest of them are in Australia, India and Papua New Guinea.
A combed crocodile is listed in the IUCN Red List for the low threat to extinction category. Now their population is estimated at 200-300 thousand individuals.