What Do Saltwater Crocodiles Eat?

saltwater-crocodiles-eat Credit: richardglenn/CC-BY 2.0

Saltwater crocodiles are predators that eat a wide variety of prey, from insects, crustaceans, amphibians, small fish and small reptiles while young, to mud crabs, birds, turtles, wild boar and even buffalo when they grow large enough. Saltwater crocodile males grow as long as 22 feet and as heavy as 2,700 pounds, and are thus capable of taking very large prey. They are the largest living reptiles on Earth.

Saltwater crocodiles are most common in Northern Australia and Indonesia, but they range all the way west to Sri Lanka and India. Their particular prey items vary by their geographic location. They are strong swimmers that can tolerate both salt and fresh water, and they travel long distances across stretches of ocean. Their tolerance for varying conditions allows them to hunt in a variety of environments, from rivers and lakes to swamps and estuaries. They typically breed in rivers, however.

Female crocodiles are much smaller, on average less than half the length of males, and are thus more restricted in their prey, although they are still large predators. Large males periodically take over sections of a river as a breeding ground, and chase other males away. Females typically lay between 40 and 60 eggs after mating.