Sri Lanka is home to a few species of crocodiles and out of these, the mugger crocodile can be easily observed in various parts of the island, especially at the Udawalawe National Park. Visitors to the park will be captivated with these creatures as they can even get within several metres of these creatures at the Udawalawe reservoir. Assigned a scientific name of Crocodylus palustris, it is also referred to as the “crocodile of the marsh”.
The broad snout of the mugger crocodile is one of its unique features and this makes it similar to alligators. Males could reach lengths of even over 12 feet or over 4 metres while females are smaller than the males. The colour varies from dark brown to light brown and these species are regarded as medium-sized crocodiles.
Habitat and Environment
Mugger crocodiles inhabit South Asia, including Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan. Udawalawe National Park is one of the ideal places in Sri Lanka to witness this amazing reptile. Visitors will be amazed at the sight of these creatures at the Udawalawe reservoir as well as other water bodies in the vicinity. Freshwater bodies as well as swamps, rivers, and marshes are inhabited by these creatures.
Lifespan and Reproduction
Behaviour and Feeding
Fish, birds, snakes, and turtles form a core part of the diet of the mugger crocodile and in addition to this, they also consume mammals, including both small and large mammals. However, these crocodiles prey on mostly smaller mammals such as monkeys, squirrels, and small species of deer. Basking in the sun with their mouths open is one of the primary activities of these creatures and it offers wonderful opportunities for amazing photographs.
Cultural and Conservation Status
Listed as threatened and sub-classified as vulnerable, the mugger crocodile, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is one of the most popular crocodile species in South Asia.