Description and features of the combed crocodile
Saltwater crocodile is one of the largest and most dangerous representatives of the crocodile family. The combed crocodile lives both in sea and in river waters, it inhabits lands washed by the Pacific or Indian oceans.
You can see representatives in Indonesia, Vietnam, eastern India and New Guinea. Less commonly, a predator lives in Australia and the Philippines.
The name "combed" arose thanks to the 2 ridges of the skin tubercles, they start from the eyes and go to the end of the mouth of the crocodile. Combs form in adults, in young animals they are absent and form when the age of the crocodile reaches 20 years.
At birth, the young crocodile does not weigh even 100 grams, and the body length is 25-35 cm. But by the first year after birth, its weight reaches up to 3 kg and its length is more than 1 m.
Combed crocodile looks very impressive not only in life, but also on a photo, and all thanks to its impressive dimensions. Sizes of adult combed crocodile fluctuates: 4-6 m, and the mass is more than 1 ton.
Females are much smaller, their body length is from 3 m, and female combed crocodile weight from 300 to 700 kg. The largest predator was found in 2011, comb crocodile length It was 6.1 m, and the weight is more than 1 ton. The mouth has no lips; they are not able to close tightly.
The entire body of individuals is covered with scales. A crocodile is not able to molt, and its skin grows and renews throughout life. In young animals, the scales are pale yellow, and the body has black impregnations.
The skin acquires a darker color at the age of 6-11 years. Adult individuals are covered with gray-green scales, light brownish spots are visible on the surface of their body. But the color of their belly can be both white and have yellowish shades.
The tail is dark gray. The eyes are set high on the crown, so that if you look closely at the water surface, only eyes and nostrils will be visible from it. Paws are short, powerful, with membranes, dark gray, with long claws, hind legs are stronger.
Since the late 1980s, the species was on the verge of extinction, they were massively destroyed due to the skin, expensive things were made from it. Type of combed crocodile introduced to the Red BookToday, the law does not allow the capture of predators. Their number exceeds 100 thousand and does not threaten further extinction.
Lifestyle & Habitat
Saltwater Crocodile - a predator, he doesn’t need a flock, they try to stay alone. Each individual has its own specific territory, he carefully guards it from other males.
It is well oriented in sea water, but constantly lives in fresh waters. Due to its elongated body and powerful tail, which the predator uses as a rudder, it is able to move in water at a speed of more than 30 km per hour.
Usually they are not in a hurry, they develop a speed of no more than 5 km per hour. A combed crocodile tries to be closer to ponds or water, land is not their habitat.
In some countries (for example, in Africa), especially in villages, there is not a single family wherever a person suffers from the mouth of a combed crocodile. In this case, it is very difficult to survive, because the mouth of the predator closes so tightly that it is impossible to unclench it.
A combed crocodile cannot be attributed to a “cute and pleasant” reptile, although it has a calm character, it is always ready to attack a victim or offender who dared to encroach on his comfort zone.
However, crocodiles are very smart, they are able to communicate with each other using simple sounds that are more reminiscent of the moo of a cow.
The predator goes hunting either early in the morning or at dusk, it is easier to calculate the prey and drag it into the water. The crocodile carefully watches the victim, is able to follow up to several hours, waiting for the right moment.
When the victim was close, the combed crocodile jumps out of the water and attacks. In the afternoon, he prefers to relax, basking in the sun. In particularly hot weather, the crocodile opens its mouth, cooling the body.
They are also able to drought a hole with water in drought and hibernate, thereby fleeing the heat. On land, reptiles are not so nimble, but rather clumsy and slow, but this does not prevent them from hunting, especially if the victim came too close.
A combed crocodile feeds large animals, in their diet there are turtles, antelopes, monitor lizards, livestock. A crocodile is able to attack an individual that is much larger than its size.
Young crocodiles manage fish, invertebrate animals. Receptors that are on the jaws help him notice the victim even at a far distance. They do not chew their prey, but tear it to pieces and swallow it.
The stones that are present in the stomach and grind the food help digest food. A combed crocodile will never feed on carrion, unless it is very weak and incapable of hunting.
Also, he does not touch rotten food. At a time, the predator is able to swallow half its weight, most of the food is digested into fat, therefore, if necessary, the predator is able to live without food for about a year.
Reproduction and longevity
A suitable time for breeding is the rainy season, in the absence of intense heat and drought. The combed crocodile belongs to the polygamous reptiles; its harem totals more than 10 females.
A female crocodile lays eggs, but first she equips a kind of hill of leaves, twigs, or dirt. The height of the hill is from 50 cm, and the diameter is from 1.5 to 2 m, while a constant temperature is maintained inside.
The sex of the future generation of predators depends on this: if the temperature inside is above 32 degrees, then males appear, if lower, then females hatch.
In a hill and eggs are laid, at a time from 30 to 90 eggs are hatched. But only 5% of the cubs will survive and grow. The rest will be victims of other predators, love to feast on eggs of monitor lizards and turtles.
The female guards the babies for the time being until a faint squeak is heard - this is a signal that it is time to help the cubs, make their way to the free will. She rakes branches, foliage, plants in the mouth and carries to the reservoir, so that they get used to the water.
Children spend their first one and a half years of life with a female, and then develop on their own land. Average duration large combed crocodile more than 65-70 years, although some scientists claim that reptiles can survive more than 100 years.
Saltwater crocodile is one of the ten most aggressive and dangerous predators in the world. However, he never attacks for no reason; he either guards his territory or fights for prey.