This dark grey reptile is the largest of the crocodile species and the heaviest reptile in the world. A full-grown adult can weigh over 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) and be as much as 7 m (23 ft) long. It has a large head and powerful jaws, designed for holding and crushing. The saltwater crocodile eats pebbles, which are thought to aid digestion by grinding food, and they also act as a ballast for maintaining buoyancy.
The saltwater crocodile is probably the most fearsome reptile in the world. Better education is encouraging people to stay away from these giant animals.
The female "saltie" builds a nest from earth and grasses, which keeps the eggs safe from flooding. She guards the eggs from predators and carries the new hatchlings to the water. Juvenile crocodiles eat crustaceans, fish and reptiles, but as they grow larger, they often take creatures as big as a buffalo or domestic livestock. Humans are occasionally killed or injured.
Distribution: South-east Asia and Northern Australia.
Habitat: River mouths and swamps.
Food: Mammals, birds and fish.
Size: 5 - 7 m (16 - 23 ft); 500 - 1,000 kg (1,100 - 2,200 lb).
Maturity: 10 - 12 years.
Breeding: 40 - 60 eggs laid in summer.
Life span: 70 years.