Zoological name: The zoological name of freshwater crocodile is Crocodylus palustris.
Distribution: Marsh crocodiles are distributed in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal and Iran. They are widely distributed in India. Habitat: Marsh crocodiles inhabit in rivers, ponds, lakes, reservoirs and other large water bodies in the plains and up to 600 m in the hills.
Physical feature: An adult may reach up to 4 m and weigh more than 200 kg. The colour is olive brown with speckles of black. The below is white or yellowish. They are distinguished in having broad snouts. Another important physical feature by which it can separate from estuarine crocodile is that marsh crocodile has four prominent occipital scales just behind the head. Moreover, the back is armoured with 16 or 17 transverse and 6 (occasionally 4) longitudinal series of bony plates embedded in the skin. The toes are webbed.
Reproduction: Mating has been observed from mid January to March. It normally occurs in water. The female lays eggs in a hole dug by her in sand, earth or gravel on a stream, river, lake etc. The number of eggs laid by the female varies form three to forty in a clutch. The incubation period varies from 60 to 90 days.
Behaviour: Marsh crocodile is an excellent swimmer. Adult marsh crocodiles occasionally roar. During night in summer months, they migrate to more permanent water bodies or they aestivate in transitory waters. Marsh crocodiles have also the habits of basking on the river banks. They make a burrow on the banks of lake, river, at the foot of tree and below rocks by the side of stream for habitation.
Life span: The life span is reported to have more than 35 years.