Photo of the Day #45: Saltwater Crocodile


This is the impressive skull of a Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the largest living crocodylian. What I find so interesting about the skulls of these animals is that the flesh is so closely attached to the underlying bone, the skulls of crocodylians requiring little imagination to discern what the animal would have looked like in life. While such a fearsome animal may cause us to keep track of how many deaths it is responsible for (the Saltwater Crocodile being the most dangerous to humans), the total number of deaths these animals are responsible for absolutely pales in comparison to lives lost due to car crashes, disease, or accidents around the home. Still, it is difficult to imagine a situation more terrifying than unexpectedly encountering one of these animals on its own turf, especially since, to paraphrase the "Barefoot Bushman" Rob Bredl, you'll probably never see the croc that gets you.

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Awesome pic!

Earlier this year I was at the archive of a small zoological institute. There were many true treasures, and I made a lot of photos. There was also the skeleton of a big saltwater crocodile, whose head was lying on a table. Only if you are in front of such skull you get an actual idea how huge this beasts grow. I used those photos to illustrate a longer post I wrote some time ago about the maximum sizes of crocodiles:…

I've seen salt water crocodiles (or 'salties' as Australians call them) in real life. And even though I was sailing on a steel boat vehicle, the sight of those beasts were terrifying.

The public gallery of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research used to have a saltwater crocodile skull as one of its exhibits, and it really was quite humbling to stand in front of it and realise, hey, it's not actually a very big crocodile... *shudders to think of those old giant record-holders*

Speaking of which, there's a wetland reserve in Singapore with plenty of freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps... prime saltwater crocodile territory, and they are beginning to reclaim areas where persecution and habitat destruction once wiped them out. Crocodiles have been spotted on occasion, just 'small' 6-footers, though I won't be surprised if there are larger ones lurking out there. I was walking down the trails one day, looking over into one of the ponds and trying to spot fish and turtles, when I suddenly had this thought that if there was a crocodile hiding in there......

Great looking skull, but you really get the feel just how big the crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is when you see a great taxidermy job, we have finished a 16.4ft crocodile here in Darwin Australia. and these are the sorts of display's that should be at the museums. So the public can see what the whole crocodile not just the bones.