Tomistoma-schlegelii, False gharial, Buaya Sinyulong

Tomistoma-schlegelii

 False gharial, Buaya Sinyulong

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The Tomistoma-schlegelii, False gharial, Buaya Sinyulongfalse gharial, also known as the Malayan gharial or false gavial, (Tomistoma schlegelii) is a fresh-water reptile, resembling a crocodile with a very thin and elongated snout resembling that of the gharial, hence its name.

The false gharial is native to six river systems in Sumatra and Malaysia. It is also found in Borneo, Java, Vietnam, Thailand (not seen since 1970) and possibly Sulawesi. Fossils found in Southern China indicate that at some point this species occurred there in the past.

Reproduction

The false gharial, like all other crocodilian species, lays eggs. It is not known when the species breeds in the wild or when its nesting season is. It is a mound nester. Females usually mature at 2-3 m. Mated females will lay a clutch of 30-60 eggs in a mound of dry leaves or peat. Once the eggs are laid, and construction of the mound is completed, she abandons her nest. Unlike most other crocodilian species, the young receive no parental care and are at risk of being eaten by predators like mongooses, big cats such as tigers and leopards, civets, and wild dogs. The young hatch after 90 days and are left to fend for themselves.

Conservation

The false gharial is threatened with extinction throughout most of its range due to the drainage of its freshwater swamplands and clearance of surrounding rainforests. The species is also hunted frequently for its skin and meat and the eggs are often harvested for human consumption. However, positive steps have been taken by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments to prevent its extinction in the wild.

 

Crocodylus-siamensis, Siamese crocodile, Buaya siam

Crocodylus-siamensis

 Siamese crocodile, Buaya siam

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ThCrocodylus-siamensis, Siamese crocodile, Buaya siame Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is a freshwater crocodile native to Indonesia (Borneo and possibly Java), Brunei, East Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. The species is highly endangered and already extirpated from many regions.

In the wild they prefer slow moving waters like swamps, rivers, and some lakes. Most adults do not exceed 3 m (10 ft) in length, although there are hybrids in captivity that can grow much larger.

Due to excessive hunting and habitat loss this crocodile is a critically endangered species. In 1992, it was believed to be extinct in the wild or very nearly so. Since then, a number of surveys have confirmed the presence of a tiny population in Thailand (possibly numbering as little as two individuals, discounting recent reintroductions), a small population in Vietnam (possibly less than 100 individuals), and more sizable populations in Burma and Laos. In March 2005, conservationists found a nest containing juvenile Siamese crocodiles in the southern Lao province of Savannakhet. There is a very small remnant population in northern Cambodia. There are no recent records from Malaysia, Brunei or Indonesia. The total wild population is estimated to be less than 5000 individuals. A number of captively held individuals are the result of hybridization with the saltwater crocodile, but several thousand “pure” individuals do exist in captivity and it is regularly bred at crocodile farms; especially in Thailand.

In the Bang Sida National Park in Thailand, near Cambodia, there is a project to reintroduce Siamese crocodile into the wild. A number of young crocodiles have been released into a small and remote river in the park, not accessible to visitors.

Which crocodile’s skin is the most valuable? It is that of Siamese crocodile because its scales are not very big and it does not have bony bumps as in others. So that is their tragedy and curiously their redemption.

They are critically endangered in the wild; there are only few hundreds and though there are efforts to protect, one can never say. These crocs are relatively small; they grow to 3 or 4 meters in length. They are also considered harmless to humans unlike the salties.

However, the captive breeding programs are hugely successful. Females lay many eggs (40 to 50) at a time. Most of the breeding programs, of course, are for commercial reasons because of their value.

And trust people. They cross breed them with other crocodiles which make them grow bigger and give more yield. But it is said that the hybrids can’t breed.

The shape of the jaws indicate their diet. They eat not only fish but also amphibians, snakes and small mammals. Crocs with narrower jaws and gharials go for fish.

 

Crocodylus-porosus, Estuarine crocodile, Buaya air asin

Crocodylus-porosus

 Estuarine crocodile, Buaya air asin

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Saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is thCrocodylus-porosus, Estuarine crocodile, Buaya air asine largest of all living reptiles. It is found in suitable habitats throughout Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and the surrounding waters. The Alligator Rivers are misnamed after the resemblance of the saltwater crocodile to alligators as compared to freshwater crocodiles, which also inhabit the Northern Territory.

Saltwater crocodiles are severely depleted in numbers throughout much of their range, and are virtually extinct in Thailand (a few individuals may persist in isolated national parks) and Vietnam (with the exception of occasional vagrants from Cambodia). In Cambodia they may possibly exist in very small numbers within the country’s rivers and mangroves, although this has not been officially confirmed. The status of this species is unknown within Myanmar (although given the recent fatal attack on a convict, they are definitely present within the Irrawaddy River) and they are known to exist in Bangladesh solely within the Sundarbans.

Although Saltwater Crocodiles were once very common in the Mekong Delta (from which they disappeared in the 1980s) and other river systems, the future of this species in Southeast Asia is now looking grim, given that population numbers are either critically low or completely extirpated from almost all regions within Indochina. However, it is also the least likely of crocodilians to become globally extinct due to its wide distribution and almost pre-colonial population sizes in Northern Australia and New Guinea. In India this crocodile is extremely rare in most areas but is very common in the north eastern part of the country (mainly Orissa and the Sunderbans). The population is sporadic in Indonesia and Malaysia with some areas harboring large populations (Borneo, for example) and others with very small, “at risk” populations (e.g., the Philippines).

The saltwater crocodile is also present in very limited parts of the South Pacific, with an average population in the Solomon Islands, a very small, invasive and soon to be extinct population in Vanuatu (where the population officially stands at only three) and a decent but at-risk population (which may be rebounding) in Palau.

In northern Australia (which includes the top ends of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland) the Saltwater Crocodile is thriving, particularly in the multiple river systems near Darwin (such as the Adelaide, Mary and Daly Rivers, along with their adjacent billabongs and estuaries) where exceptionally large (6 meter +) individuals are not uncommon. A rough estimate states that the Australian Saltwater Crocodile population stands somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 adults. Their range extends from Broome in Western Australia through the entire Northern Territory coast all the way down to Rockhampton in Queensland. In New Guinea they are also very common, existing within the coastal reaches of virtually every river system in the country, along with all estuaries and mangroves.

Saltwater crocodiles once ranged as far west as the east coast of Africa at the Seychelles Islands. These crocodiles were once believed to be a population of Nile crocodiles, but they were later proven to be Crocodylus porosus.

Due to this species’ tendency to travel very long distances at sea, individual saltwater crocodiles occasionally show up in odd locales where they are not native. Vagrant individuals have historically been reported on New Caledonia, Iwo Jima, Fiji, and even in the relatively frigid Sea of Japan (thousands of miles from their native territory.)

Habitat

Saltwater crocodiles generally spend the tropical wet season in freshwater swamps and rivers, moving downstream to estuaries in the dry season, and sometimes traveling far out to sea. Crocodiles compete fiercely with each other for territory, with dominant males in particular occupying the most eligible stretches of freshwater creeks and streams. Junior crocodiles are thus forced into the more marginal river systems and sometimes into the ocean. This explains the large distribution of the animal (ranging from the east coast of India to northern Australia) as well as its being found in odd places on occasion (such as the Sea of Japan). Saltwater crocodiles can swim 15 to 18 miles per hour in short bursts, but when cruising go 2 to 3 mph.

Diet and behaviour
The saltwater crocodile is an opportunistic apex predator capable of taking nearly any animal that enters its territory, either in the water or on dry land. They have also been known to attack humans. Juveniles are restricted to smaller animals such as insects, amphibians, crustaceans, small reptiles and fish. The larger the animal grows, the greater the variety of animals it includes in the diet, although relatively small prey make up an important part of the diet even in adults. Large adult saltwater crocodiles can potentially eat any animal within its range, including monkeys, kangaroos, wild boar, dingos, goannas, birds, domestic livestock, pets, water buffalo, gaurs, sharks, and even humans, among other large animals as well. Domestic cattle, horses, water buffalo and gaur, all of which may weigh over a ton, are considered the largest prey taken by male crocodiles. Generally very lethargic ? a trait which helps it survive months at a time without food ? it typically loiters in the water or basks in the sun through much of the day, preferring to hunt at night. Capable of explosive bursts of speed when launching an attack from the water, many species of crocodile are also capable of fast land-movement. Many crocodiles are capable of explosive charges that can carry them nearly as fast as a running human. The 23 species of crocodilian can travel over land using the belly crawl, the walk, the high-walk, and the gallop. However, stories of crocodiles being faster than a race horse for short distances across the ground are little more than urban legend.

As an apex predator, it usually waits for its prey to get close to the water’s edge before striking, using its great strength to drag the animal back into the water. Most prey animals are killed by the great jaw pressure of the crocodile, although some animals may be incidentally drowned. It is an immensely powerful animal, having the strength to drag a fully grown water buffalo into a river, or crush a full-grown bovid’s skull between its jaws. Its typical hunting technique is known as the “death roll,” it grabs onto the animal and rolls powerfully. This throws any struggling large animal off balance making it easier to drag it into the water. The “death roll” is also used for tearing apart large animals once they are dead.

Intelligence

One researcher, Dr. Adam Britton, has been studying crocodilian intelligence. In so doing, he has compiled a collection of Australian saltwater crocodile calls, and associated them with behaviors. His position is that while crocodilian brains are much smaller than those of mammals (as low as 0.05% of body weight in the saltwater crocodile), they are capable of learning difficult tasks with very little conditioning. He also infers that the crocodile calls hint at a deeper language ability than currently accepted. He suggests that saltwater crocodiles are clever animals that can possibly learn faster than lab rats. They have also learned to track the migratory route of their prey as the climate changes.

Attacks on humans

Saltwater crocodiles are very dangerous animals, but data on attacks is limited outside of Australia, and estimates of human fatalities vary wildly between dozens to thousands annually. It is likely that, given this species’ low population within most of its non-Australian / New Guinean range, the number of attacks is probably within the lower range of estimates. Most attacks by adult “salties” are fatal, given the animals’ size and strength. In Australia, attacks are rare and usually make headlines when they do occur. There are, on average, no more than one or two fatal attacks reported per year in the country.[24] The low level of attacks is most likely due to the extensive effort by local wildlife officials to post crocodile warning signs at nearly every billabong, river, lake and even at some beaches and also due to the relatively well-informed nature of the local citizens. In the Aboriginal community of Arnhem Land, which occupies roughly half of the top end of the Northern Territory, attacks may go unreported and may be more common. Most unreported attacks most likely occur in New Guinea,[25] where the species population is very high and precautions are few. There have also been recent, less-publicized attacks in Borneo,[26] Sumatra,[27] eastern India,[28] and in Myanmar.

 

Crocodylus-palustris, Mugger crocodile, Buaya

Crocodylus-palustris

Mugger crocodile, Buaya

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The mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) (literally “crocodile of the marsh”), also called the Indian, Iranian, marsh, mugger or Persian crocodile (in Persian گاندو Gandu), is found throughout the Indian subcontinent and the surrounding countries (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka). In Pakistan’s coastal regions of the Makran and delta marshlands of Sindh it is known as the “Indus crocodile”, although they do exist in parts of Bangladesh, and parts of Nepal and Iran. The name “mugger” is a corruption of the Hindi/Urdu word magar which means “water monster” in the Hindi/Urdu language. This is in turn derived from “makara”, the Sanskrit word for crocodile.

The mugger crocodile can be found in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, the southern tip of Iran and probably in Indo-China. The mugger is the only crocodilian found in Iran and Pakistan. This crocodile is the most common and widespread of the three species of crocodiles in India, far out numbering the much larger saltwater crocodile within the country (and most likely within neighboring countries).

In the 1980s the largest population of wild crocodiles in Tamil Nadu, South India lived in the Amaravathi Reservoir, and in the Chinnar, Thennar and Pambar rivers that drain into it. Their total population here was estimated to be 60 adults and 37 sub-adults. The Amaravati Sagar Crocodile Farm, Established there in 1975, is the largest crocodile nursery in India. Eggs are collected from wild nests along the perimeter of the reservoir to be hatched and reared at the farm. There were up to 430 animals maintained in captivity at one time. Hundreds of adult crocodiles have been reintroduced from here into the wild.

Habitat

Mainly a freshwater species, the mugger crocodile is found in lakes, rivers and marshes. Muggers prefer slow-moving, shallower bodies of water rather than, fast-flowing, deep areas. Also known to thrive in man-made reservoirs and irrigation canals. Although it prefers freshwater, it has some tolerance to saltwater therefore is occasionally reported from saltwater lagoons. It is sympatric with the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) in some areas of India and with the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in other areas, but separated by habitat most of the time. It is adapted to terrestrial life like its cousin, the Cuban crocodile, more than most crocodilians, but is ecologically most similar to the African Nile crocodile. It is known to be more mobile on land, can migrate considerable distances over land in search of a more suitable habitat. It can chase prey on land for short distances. They are also known to dig burrows as shelters during the dry seasons.

Diet

Being a large carnivorous reptile, the mugger crocodile eats fish, other reptiles and small mammals, such as monkeys. In fact, most vertebrates that approach to drink are potential prey, and may suffer being seized and dragged into the water to be drowned and devoured at leisure. Large adults will sometimes prey on large mammals such as deer, including the 225-kg sambar deer, and the 450-kg domestic water buffalo. Mature adults compete directly with the tiger over kills. Either species may give way on occasion, with the size and health of the animals involved the determining factor. Tigers also prey on muggers on occasion, being the only natural predators of adult muggers other than other crocodiles. There are reports of attacks on humans and there has been at least one confirmed fatality in Iran (on a child.) This species is generally considered to be occasionally dangerous to humans, but nowhere near as notorious as the much larger (and, in India, less common) saltwater crocodile.

 

Crocodylus novaeguineae, New Guinea crocodile

Crocodylus novaeguineae

 New Guinea crocodile

ThCrocodylus novaeguineae, New Guinea crocodilee New Guinea crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae) is a small species of crocodile found on the island of New Guinea.

Crocodylus novaeguineae grows to a length of up to 3.5 m for the males and 2.7 m for the females. The body is grey-brown in color, with dark brown to black markings on the tail. The snout is pointed and relatively narrow during juvenile stages and becomes wider as the animal matures. It bears a physical similarity to the nearby Philippine crocodile (C. mindorensis) and Siamese crocodile (C. siamensis). C. mindorensis was once held to be a subspecies (C. novaeguineae mindorensis) of the New Guinea crocodile, but is now considered to be separate.

Habitat

The primarily nocturnal crocodile is to be found in the freshwater swamps and lakes of New Guinea, particular in the interior. Although tolerant of saltwater, it is rarely to be found in brackish coastal waters, and never in the presence of the competing saltwater crocodile (C. porosus). Two populations of C. novaeguineae are known on the island, separated by a mountain range; DNA analysis has revealed these to be genetically separate populations.