Looking remarkably like a dinosaur, the largest living reptile today is the saltwater crocodile. It is found all the way from the Indian sub-continent to northern Australia. These amazing creatures are highly specialised for their habitat. So let's jump in and find out more about them.
The largest living crocodile is, well, obviously very large. The species is sexually dimorphic, which means that there are distinct differences between the males and females. In saltwater crocodiles, one of the differences between the genders is size. The males typically grow to a length of 6 metres (19.7 ft), but the largest one on record grew to a size of 6.3 m (20.7 ft), but studies of morphology believe that the largest a male would be able to grow is about 7 m (23 ft). The females, on the other hand, grow to a length of about 3 m (10 ft), with the largest growing to about 3.4 m (11 ft). The males can weigh up to 1000 kg (2,200 lbs), while the females reach a size of about 103 kg (227 lbs).
One interesting characteristic of the saltwater crocodile is that they are broader than most other crocodiles. Their snouts are usually twice as long as the width of their snouts at the base.
The saltwater crocodile lives in coastal, brackish water, swamps, and river deltas from India's east coast all the way to Northern Australia. They are able to swim long distances out to see. This means that they are found on many islands around the Philippines and Indonesia. They are even found as far as Fiji and the Sea of Japan.
One of the defining characteristics of the saltwater crocodile is its ability to live in saltwater. However, other crocodile species all have salt glands, the glands that allow them to release excess salt from their bodies. It's only the salties that seem to live in saltwater. The other species only seem to enter salt water in extreme situations. It has been noted that saltwater crocodiles will use ocean currents while swimming long distances. In the study, it was found that one crocodile would swim up to 600 km in a 25-day period. It has been found that salties are more aquatic than most other species of crocodiles, spending more time in the water and less time on land.
Saltwater crocodiles aren't particularly picky about what they eat. The largest males will take large bovines like gaur and banteng water buffalo, but they will also take smaller prey items like goats, deer, chickens, and even flying foxes. Since they are marine animals, they will also eat animals like sea snakes or turtles, as well as dugongs and even small sharks. Their hunting technique is the same as all other crocodiles, preferring to stay submerged as they sidle up to their prey before lunging.