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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > Class Reptilia
Estuarine crocodile
Crocodylus porosus
Family Crocodylidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This awesome reptile is sometimes seen at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. According to Davison, it has been recorded in our estuaries and reservoirs including the Singapore River, Kallang River, Sungei Seletar and Kranji Reservoir, and Pulau Tekong. Also called the Saltwater crocodile, it is the most widely distributed of the crocodiles and found in tropical Asia and the Pacific. It lives in b rackish and freshwater habitats.

Features: Up to 8m long. A large triangular head with broad and long snout and bulbous eyes at the top of the head. There is a pair of ridges along the centre of the snout. It uses its long muscular tail to propel itself in the water. Younger crocodiles have oval scales that are pale yellow with black stripes and spots on the body and tail. The adults are much darker, with lighter tan or grey areas.

What does it eat? Juveniles eat insects, frogs, crabs and fishes. Adults eat larger prey including fish, birds and mammals, hunting mainly at night. They may also scavange on carrion.

Crocodile babies: A mother crocodile specially constructs a nest of vegetation in which about 80 eggs are laid. The warmth of the decomposing vegetation incubates the eggs. The mother fiercely guards the nest.

Status and threats: Our Estuarine crocodiles are listed as 'Critically Endangered' in the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Feb 10

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Sep 09
Photo shared by Teo Siyang on his blog.
They are threatened by habitat loss and human persecution. Also considered threatened globally, although successful captive breeding has reduced hunting pressure on wild populations. They are hunted for their skin which is used to make leather goods such as shoes and handbags. Their meat is also eaten.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Jul 09

Photo shared by Brandon Chia on his flickr.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Oct 09

Photo shared by Brandon Chia on his flickr.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Oct 09
Photo shared by Brandon Chia on his flickr.

Estuarine crocodiles on Singapore shores

Photos of Estuarine crocodiles for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

crocodile @ sg buloh from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

croc undercover @ SBWR from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

solar-croc @ SBWR from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

crocodylus porosus @ Sg Buloh 23Apr2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

croc on the path @ SBWR 08May2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

juvenile estuarine croc @ SBWR 26June2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

disappearing croc @ sg buloh wetland reserve - Oct2012 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

Crocodiles recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.

  Family Crocodylidae
  Crocodylus porosus (Estuarine crocodile)
Crocodylus siamensis
Tomistoma schlegelii
(Sunda gavial)



  • Marcus Ng and Robert W. Mendyk. 2012. Predation of an Adult Malaysian Water monitor (Varanus salvator macromaculatus) by an Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). Biawak, 6(1), pp. 34-38, by International Varanid Interest Group.
  • Lim, Kelvin K. P. & Francis L K Lim, 1992. A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Singapore Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.
  • Baker, Nick and Kelvin Lim. 2008. Wild Animals of Singapore: A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
  • Cox, Merel J., Peter Paul van Dijk, Jarujin Nabhitabhata and Kumthorn Thirakhupt. 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore New Holland.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
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