Saltwater Crocodile Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

You might have learned about crocodiles before, but nothing compares to the size and scariness of the saltwater crocodile. Learn where these big crocodiles live and what they eat so that you can stay out of their way!

The Scary Saltwater Crocodile

The sun is just starting to reflect light off of the swampy water as your boat drifts along. It's quiet, too quiet. Out of the corner of your eye, you see what looks like a rock. Is that rock moving? Suddenly, the rock rises from the water and is replaced by a huge set of jaws!

And then your eyes open. Phew, it was only a dream about a saltwater crocodile. Saltwater crocodiles can give anyone nightmares because they are the biggest crocodiles on the planet, and they will eat just about any animal that gets near them, even people!

Saltwater crocodiles are scary.

Where Do They Live?

If you live in the United States, then you don't have to worry about running into a saltwater crocodile. These large reptiles live in eastern India, Southeast Asia, and Northern Australia.

Because of their name, you'd think the only place they live is in salty water, like oceans, but they can be found in freshwater as well. These crocodiles can be found in lakes, swamps, marshes, coastal waters, and estuaries, which are the areas where a river flows into the sea. In fact, some people call saltwater crocodiles estuarine crocodiles because they like living in estuaries.

What Do They Look Like?

One of the most impressive things about saltwater crocodiles is their size. An average male can grow to be about 17 feet long. That means that three professional basketball players standing on each other's shoulders would be about as tall as one crocodile is long! They can weigh about 1,000 pounds, which is half of a ton. The females don't grow as big as the males, but at 10 feet long, you wouldn't want to run into a female saltwater crocodile either.

Saltwater crocodiles are big.

Their snouts are wide and contain powerful jaws that are filled with teeth. Their tails are strong and long and are used to move the crocodiles through the water. Saltwater crocodiles are very good swimmers.

The skin on their backs is dark gray, and their bellies are white or light gray.

What Do They Eat?

When a saltwater crocodile is on the hunt, it lies still just below the surface of the water. If its dark gray back peaks above the surface, an animal coming to the water's edge to get a drink might think it's a harmless rock. But, that would be a mistake! The saltwater crocodile eats animals like buffalo, dingoes, cattle, dogs, birds, and occasionally people.

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