Mugger crocodile
220px-Large mugger crocodile

A large male Mugger crocodile

Name Mugger crocodile
Order Crocodilia
Class Crocodylidae
Name Translation Crocodile of the marsh
Period 3 mya - Present
Location Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, some parts of Burman and Afghanistan
Diet Meat
Size 4 - 5.5 meters (Adult male)
Date of Discovery 1802

The mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris = "crocodile of the marsh"), also called the IndianIndusPersianSindhumarsh crocodile or simply mugger, is found throughout the Indian subcontinent and the surrounding countries, like Pakistan where the Indus crocodile is the national reptile of Pakistan. It is one of the three crocodilians found in India, the others being the gharial and the saltwater crocodile. It is a medium-sized crocodile that mostly inhabits freshwater lakes, ponds, sluggish rivers, swamps and marshes. Males of the species are said to grow up to 4–5 m (13–16 ft) in length. As with other crocodilians, females are smaller. The mugger crocodile has the broadest snout of any extant crocodile, giving it an alligator-like appearance. It is a more heavily armored species with enlarged scutes around the neck. Adults are dark grey or brown, while hatchlings are tan colored.

The mugger crocodile is a skilled predator that preys on a variety of species. Like other crocodilians they are ambush hunters and wait for their prey to come close. They wait camouflaged in the murky waters to launch the attack in the suitable moment. They mostly prey on fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Reproduction takes place in winter months. Females lay eggs in nests that are holes dug in the sand. Temperature during incubation is the determinant of sex in the young. The mugger crocodile possesses the size to be a serious threat to humans but are not as aggressive as some other species, such as the sympatric saltwater crocodiles. They are also observed to usually avoid areas with saltwater crocodiles. Muggers are fairly social species and tolerate their conspecifics during basking and feeding.

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