Difference Between Saltwater and Freshwater Crocodiles

Saltwater vs Freshwater Crocodiles

By the name sounds of their names, differences between saltwater and freshwater crocodiles become more obvious. First distinction would be their habitats, which is sea for saltwater species and inland wetlands for the freshwater species. In addition to their habitats, the home ranges, body sizes, features, and other biological aspects could be different between these two very important species, and this article discusses about them all.

Saltwater Crocodile

Salty is the commonly referred name for the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus. It is the largest member among all the extant reptiles. An adult healthy male could have about 600 – 1000 kilograms of weight and the average length is about 4 – 5.5 metres. They inhabit coastal habitats between Northern Australia, through Australasian islands and Eastern India and Sri Lanka, as their preferred habitat are available over there. Saltwater crocodiles have a long muzzle and few armour plates on their neck. The female is considerably smaller than the male. They demonstrate a prominent sexual dimorphism, which is the phenotypic difference between male and female. Saltwater crocs usually spend the tropical wet season in fresh water swamps and rivers, and then move downstream to estuaries in dry zone. They are apex predators of the food web, i.e. there are to prey upon crocodiles. However, crocs are lethargic animals, and they can spend months without having any food. In sunny days, they prefer to rest at the daytime and active during nighttime.

Freshwater Crocodile

Scientifically named Crocodylus johnsoni is the Australian fresh water crocodile, commonly known as freshy. This is an endemic species to Australia. Freshwater crocs are smaller, and the average length of a healthy male lies around three meters. They prefer small preys and they are not notorious as man-eaters. However, they can deliver nasty bite even to a human. Their snout is small and slender, and the whole body is light brown with darker bands. Their body scales are relatively large and wide. Additionally, they have closely-knit armoured plates on their back. Freshies’ home range is mainly the freshwater wetlands of Northern territory of Australia including some Northern parts of the Queensland and Western Australia.

What is the difference between Saltwater and Freshwater crocodiles?

• The first contrasting difference is their habitats, as salty lives around saltwaters of Northern Australia, Australasian islands, Eastern India, and Sri Lanka. In contrast to salty’s range, freshy has a restricted distribution being endemic to Australia.

• Salty has a larger body compared to freshy.

• Salty is notorious for attacking and considered man-eaters, whereas freshy is not a serious attacker on humans.

• Saltwater crocodile has a very long snout, but is it short and slender in freshwater crocodiles.

• Salty has few armour plates on their neck compared to freshy.

• Freshy has closely-knit armoured plates on their back, while salty does not.

• In addition, freshy has large and wide body scales compared to those of salty.