According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, over 300, 000 saltwater crocodiles inhabit the earth as of 2011. In spite of their name, these living creatures can live in both fresh water and salt water environments. Also known scientifically as Crocodylus porosus and internationally as estuarine crocodiles, the saltwater crocodile is the biggest living crocodilian on earth. They have also obtained a title as being man-eaters.
The average size of the male saltwater crocodiles reaches about 17 feet long, weighing 1,000 pounds. Nevertheless, it is not unusual for these crocodiles to have a length of almost 23 feet and weight of 2,200 pounds. Females typically grow to ten feet in length. The huge heads of saltwater crocodiles come with a very strong jaws and sharp teeth. Their bodies are dark and scaled with yellow or tan marks, while their underbelly comes with a pale white color. Young saltwater crocodiles have a black spots and stripes on their pale yellow tail and body.
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Saltwater crocodiles commonly devote the tropical wet season in freshwater rivers and swamps, moving downstream to inlets in the dry season, and occasionally moving far out to sea. They are living along the salt coastal waters between the southern India and northern coast of Australia. They also populate freshwater swamps of northern Australia, southeast Asia and eastern India. Skillful swimmers, these crocodiles usually swim thousands of miles to find a place where food is abundant. The barnacles found on several crocodiles' scales show that they might devote significant time out at sea.
Saltwater crocodiles are naturally carnivores and they usually feed any kind of animals they catch. This includes sharks, domestic cattle, snakes, wild boar, monkeys and water buffaloes. They even eat human beings. Undeveloped crocodiles feast on small fish, shellfish, insects and other small animals. Saltwater crocodiles hunt and catch their victim by waiting at the edge of the water, just underneath the surface. When a particular animal drinks from the water or looks for food, the crocodile immediately wags its tail to carry its body out of the water, bites its prey with the use of its strong jaws and sharp teeth and pulls it back under the water until its prey drowns.
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Saltwater typically breed in freshwater regions and they lay their eggs in land. Once her eggs are fertilized, the female crocodile makes a mound-like nest out of plant material and lays between 50 and 60 eggs in the nest. She protects the nest from predators and any possible dangers until her babies are ready to hatch. She then carries the baby crocodile to the water using her mouth.
Crocodiles devote most of their time floating in the water and lying on land which keeps their body temperatures at a sustainable level. They usually live in groups and create a territory in which they are very protective over attacking any unwanted guests. The group's organization is loosely established with the sturdiest male crocodile ruling the territory. If there is other crocodile that challenges another crocodile for a better place or territory, the two beings face off with the use of their vocalizations and posture to proclaim their superiority. They naturally determine supremacy through ferocity with one another.