- What does a swamp crocodile look like?
- Swamp Crocodile Sizes
- Swamp crocodile: food and lifestyle
- Interaction with other animals and humans
Crocodiles are the oldest animals, the only surviving members of the Arcoshosaurians subclass - a group of reptiles, to which dinosaurs belonged. It is assumed that their history began about 250 million years ago in the Early Triassic, if we talk about all crocodilomorphs. Representatives of the current detachment appeared a little later - about 83.5 million years ago. Now they are common in all countries with hot tropical climates. The Indian crocodile is one of the three species found in Hindustan and in the adjacent territory, reptiles. This is a fairly large predator with a characteristic appearance.
What does a swamp crocodile look like?
Swamp crocodile in literary sources can often be found under the name of Mager, as well as Indian. Its appearance resembles the structure of an alligator. The coarse head has wide and heavy jaws, their length exceeds 1.5-2.5 times the width at the base. Combs and outgrowths of scaly bones are absent. On the neck there are 4 large plates that form a square with smaller plates on each side. The dorsal ones are well separated from the occipital, osteoderms, as a rule, are arranged in four rows, sometimes in six. The central plates on the back can be wider than the side. Swamp crocodile (maher) is characterized by keeled scales on the limbs and fingers that have membranes at the base. The color of individuals may vary slightly depending on age. Adult crocodiles, as a rule, have a dark olive color, while young ones have a light olive color with black spots and dots.
Swamp Crocodile Sizes
Taking into account the size of all members of the Crocodile squad, it is safe to say that this species has average sizes. There is sexual dimorphism. Females about 2.45 m long are somewhat smaller than males, which range from 3.2 to 3.5 m. Differences also relate to body weight. The predominant number of individuals of both sexes, both young and adults, are by weight in the range from 40 to 200 kg. Females are smaller and reach 50-60 kg, males are much larger and heavier - up to 200-250 kg.
A marsh crocodile (males) at a very mature age can have impressive dimensions. Rarely, but still, there are cases when they grow over 4.5 m in length and gain a mass of up to 450 kg. The largest officially registered figure is about 5 m and 600 kg respectively.
Crocodile marsh named so for good reason. His favorite place of residence are shallow bodies of water with stagnant or weakly flowing fresh water. These are mainly swamps, lakes, rivers, and less often irrigation canals. Sometimes you can find a marsh crocodile in lagoons with brackish water. Geographically, the species is distributed in India, Pakistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iran, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
The population size in most areas is decreasing every year and is approaching a critical level. The main reason is the destruction of the natural habitat and the demographic problem of the region. India began to protect the swamp crocodile as early as 1975, creating a special program to increase the number of species. The largest population (over 2000 individuals) is in Sri Lanka.
Swamp crocodile: food and lifestyle
This species, like the Cuban crocodile, feels better on land than any other member of the detachment. It can move (migrate) for short distances and even shortly pursue its prey by land, while developing a speed of more than 12 km / h, in the native environment (water) it rapidly increases to 30-40 km / h. In addition, the magera dig onshore burrows, where they hide from the heat during the drought period.
The basis of the Indian crocodile diet is fish, snakes, including pythons, birds, turtles, mammals of medium and small size (squirrels, otters, monkeys, deer, etc.). Large, adult individuals may well hunt hoofed animals: Asian antelopes, Indian Zambars, buffaloes and gauras. The crocodile marsh stalks them at a watering place and, grabbing prey at the right moment, draws it down into the water, where it is then torn to pieces. At night, they hunt on land, along forest paths and may select prey from other predators, for example, from leopards.
Swamp crocodile uses a very interesting way of catching birds. This is one of the few reptiles that uses bait. He holds small twigs and sticks on his face that attract birds looking for building material for their nests. Tactics are particularly relevant in the spring.
In general, the Indian crocodile is a social animal. They rather calmly tolerate the presence of each other near bathing places, during feeding and hunting.
Interaction with other animals and humans
Adult marsh crocodile, in fact, are at the top of the food chain. Therefore, as a rule, they are not exposed to attacks from other predators. The competition of the mind is only larger in size and possessing an aggressive disposition of a comby crocodile. It prevents the settlement of the species in question and even sometimes hunts for it.
Certain danger to each other are marsh crocodiles and tigers. As a rule, predators try to avoid encounters, but there have been cases when they entered into open physical opposition. The crocodile marsh represents a serious danger for the smaller leopard, which is often attacked.
Cases of predator attacks on people from time to time. It has a fairly large size, aggressive and poses a certain threat to a person. However, it is not as dangerous as its related species: Nile and comby crocodiles.
Females and males reach sexual maturity with sizes of 2.6 and 1.7-2 m in length, respectively. The breeding period occurs in winter. The eggs of the females are laid in nests previously dug in the sand. The young are born 55–75 days later. It is noteworthy that the factor that determines the sex is the ambient temperature during the incubation. If it is set within 32.5 ° C, then only males appear, the farther from this figure, the more females. In the laying of the swamp crocodile is 25-30 eggs.