Crocodylus porosus   Schneider,  1801 (Crocodile)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Reptilia

Image copyrights: MarineBio

Size: 5 m

Weight: Around 450 kg.

Color: It is dark olive intermingled with yellow color on the dorsal side, with a tinge of brass color. The young have checkered black markings above. The juvenile is usually pale tan, with black stripes and spots on the body and tail, which gradually fade with age, although never disappear entirely.

This is the largest of the present day reptile. The snout of the species is long. 17-19 upper teeth on each side, four in each premaxillary in the adult. Snout 1 2/3 to 2 1/6 times as long as broad at the base. Four large nuchals forming a square, with a smaller one each side. Dorsal armour of 6 to 8 longitudinal series of scutes. There is a strong ridge in front of each eye running to half the length of the snout. The enlarged post occipital scutes are absent. Female saltwater crocodiles grow to a smaller size than males, normally reaching a maximum length of 2.5 to 3 metres.

They build mound nest using vegetation and mud. The nests are large and accommodates on an average 50 eggs. The nests are defended against intruders, though not immune to pilferage by natural egg predators such as Monitor lizards. The grunting call by the egg bound hatchlings evokes mother’s assistance. Females are devout mothers and defend their hatchlings at all costs.

Synonym (s)
Crocodilus porosus Schneider, 1801
Crocodilus porosus Smith, 1931

Common Name (s)
• Salt Water Crocodile (English)
• Estuarine Crocodile (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Nest poaching, habitat destruction and accidental trapping in the fish gear; in many parts of India this reptile has been tapped for its ecotourism potential.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal
Prey:  Fishes and large animals.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• West Bengal, Sundarbans INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Bengal, Hugli Matla Estuary INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Kol INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Borkar, M (2005) Marine mammals, turtles and crocodiles: A field manual NIO, Goa 63 pp Available at - NIO
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • MarineBio Available at -
  • Sanyal, DP; Dattagupta, B and Sur, S (1995) Reptilia Estuarine ecosystem series, Part 2: Hugli Matla Estuary ZSI, Calcutta 401-416 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Untawale, AG; Dhargalkar, VK and Deshmukhe, GV (2000) Prioritization of potential sites for marine biodiversity conservation in India Setting biodiversity conservation priorities for India: Summary of the findings and conclusions of the biodiversity conservation prioritization project World Wide Fund for Nature - India, New Delhi (India) Available at -
  • Arkive: Images of life on earth Available at -
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • James, EJ (2005) Management of river basins in relation to coastal wetlands: case studies from Indian subcontinent kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 21-47 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2010-12-30

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