Fun Philippine Crocodile Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Apr 27, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Shray Sharma
World's most endangered crocodile species, Philippine crocodile facts.

Do you know about the world's most endangered species of crocodiles in the world? In this article, we will explore some fascinating facts about the Philippine crocodile, one of the two varieties of crocodiles that are indigenous to the Philippines.

Also known as the Mindoro crocodile, the Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a freshwater crocodile. Earlier, it was considered a subspecies of the New Guinea crocodile and had a flourishing population throughout the country, but since 2008 it is listed as Critically Endangered.

It survives only in certain islands of the Philippines, namely Luzon, Dalupiri, and Mindanao island. As per recent surveys, their population is about 100 in the wild today.

One fascinating characteristic of this crocodile species is that it eats more sick fish in its natural habitat than healthy ones. Thus it aids in improving the quality of the fish stock and balances the population of common fishes by preying on them proportionately. Read on to know more about this eccentric and endangered crocodile species.

While you are here, do not forget to check out the informative article on the other reptile species like worm snakes and rattlesnakes.

Philippine Crocodile Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Philippine Crocodile?

A Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a reptile and is also known as a Philippine freshwater crocodile. It is one of the two indigenous crocodiles found in the Philippines, the other being the Philippine saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).

What class of animal does a Philippine Crocodile belong to?

Crocodylus mindorensis belongs to the class Reptilia, order Crocodilia, family Crocodylidae, and genus Crocodylus.

How many Philippine Crocodiles are there in the world?

There are only about 100 Philippine crocodiles left in the wild today.

Where does a Philippine Crocodile live?

A Philippine crocodile lives in small tropical wetlands.

What is a Philippine Crocodile's habitat?

While their preferred habitat is small wetlands, this species of freshwater crocodile is also seen to dwell in shallow ponds and lakes, creeks, artificial water reservoirs, and mangrove areas. Sometimes they make burrows-like spaces in sandy river banks.

It is seen that their favorable habitats have a maximum width, an average flow velocity of water, and a minimum depth. The juveniles and immature Crocodylus mindorensis prefer lakes with vegetation at the edges, while the adults are common in lakes with ample open water.

Who do Philippine Crocodiles live with?

Typically crocodiles are social reptiles. Though they do not form any social groups, they are seen to inhabit areas in groups. A behavioral study carried out in Dunoy Lake reveals that, on average, the distance among Crocodylus mindorensis in their environment was about 20 meters.

In captivity, they exhibit aggressiveness towards each other. In the wild, no aggressiveness is observed in adults. However, juveniles show intra-specific aggressiveness.

How long does a Philippine Crocodile live?

The crocodile is said to live as long as 70-80 years. However, there is still a lack of data to ascertain an average lifespan.

How do they reproduce?

More research is needed to understand the reproduction system of Philippine crocodiles. It is common for the males and females of the species to have multiple mates.

The males of the species are sexually mature at 15 months and females at 10 months. The breeding season starts in the dry season, from December to May, and the eggs are laid between April to August.

In a year, the females can have up to three clutches.

There is a break of between four and six months between the first and second clutch. The average clutch size varies and is typically in the range of up to 33 eggs.

A study of a female and male Philippine crocodile in captivity reveals that at the time of reproduction, the length of the female is 1.3 meters, and that of the male is 2.1 meters. The incubation period of the eggs is 65-85 days.

In the wild, the nest is built by the female Philippine crocodile during the dry season. It can be a hole at the banks or a mound nest comprising dried leaves, soil, twigs, or a combination of both.

The nest is located at a distance of up to 21 meters from the water's edge.

Both parents take turns to watch and guard the nest. The eggs of these species exhibit dependence on temperature during incubation for sex determination which means the temperature at which the eggs are incubated determines the sex of the crocodile.

What is their conservation status?

There has been a sharp decline in its population due to the loss of habitat and unsustainable fishing practices like dynamite fishing. This species of Philippine freshwater crocodile is one of the most critically endangered crocodile species globally. In the IUCN Red List, it is categorized as Critically Endangered. Various measures are being taken for its conservation.

Philippine Crocodile Fun Facts

What do Philippine Crocodiles look like?

Philippine Crocodile.

A dorsal brown scaly body characterizes a Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) with dark black stripes and heavy armor. Its ventral side is white, and it sports a broad snout.

Juvelines are golden brown, and as they mature, the color of their body darkens. The animal has about 66-68 sharp teeth, which fall out regularly and get replaced by new ones.

How cute are they?

With a broad snout, heavily armored scaly body, and big jaw with sharp teeth, the Philippine crocodiles are scary to look at rather than cute.

How do they communicate?

There is not much information on the means of communication specific to the Philippine freshwater crocodile. But the general communication features of crocodilians apply to them as well.

For example, depending on their mood and environment, the Mindoro crocodile changes their skin color. Also, the Mindoro crocodile conveys warning signs by gaping its jaw and displaying its bright yellowish-orange tongue.

How big is a Philippine Crocodile?

A Philippine crocodile is smaller than a Philippine saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus can reach up to 16 ft (5 m) and is known to reach a maximum recorded length of 9 ft (3 m). However, most members of this endangered species are much smaller.

The males reach a length of 6ft (2 m), while the female measures 4 ft (1.2 m).

How fast can a Philippine Crocodile move?

There is no information on the exact speed of movement of this species of crocodile. However, as per the data received from radio telemetry of a breeding pair, the male is seen to travel less frequently than the female.

In a day, the maximum movement recorded for the male was 4.3 km, and for the female, it was 4 km.

How much does a Philippine Crocodile weigh?

The females are typically smaller than the males. For example, a mature male of this species weighs about 420 lb (190 kg), while a female weighs about 200 lb (91 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male of the species is called a bull, and the female is called a cow.

What would you call a baby Philippine Crocodile?

A baby Philippine crocodile is called a hatchling.

What do they eat?

The typical diet for juvenile crocodiles consists of small fish, snails, shrimps, and dragonflies. Adults eat aquatic birds, domestic pigs, snakes, crabs, and small mammals.

Are they poisonous?

No, there is no information on this critically endangered species of crocodile being poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

No, Crocodylus mindorensis, does not make a good pet. It is a wild animal and thrives in its natural environment.

Did you know...

Karl Schmidt discovered this species of crocodile in 1935 on the island of Mindoro, and for years it was classified as a subspecies of the New Guinea crocodile. However, after Hall's paper in 1989, it has been recognized as a separate species.

It is also called Bukarot in northern Luzon island in the local dialect and Buwaya in the common Filippino culture.

The decline in its population is attributed to excessive hunting and habitat loss. In addition, the locals have a low tolerance for any crocodile species because of the other species of crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) known to attack humans.

How to save the Philippine Crocodile?

Several conservation measures are put in place in the Philippines to save this species of freshwater crocodile. It is protected in the Philippines by the Wildlife Act since 2001, and it is illegal to kill it in the country.

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau is also responsible for protecting and conserving its habitat. The Philippines' Mabuwaya Foundation has also taken up several conservation and awareness programs.

It establishes sanctuaries and breeding facilities for these freshwater crocodiles through its Crocodile Rehabilitation, Observance, and Conservation (CROC) Project. In addition, it works with the local population to raise awareness and change the perception of these crocodiles.

Why must we protect the Philippine Crocodile?

It is vital to protect this wildlife species because it faces extinction without conservation efforts. In addition, these crocodiles have a role to play in keeping the ecological balance of the wetland ecosystems they live in and are critical to maintaining riparian biodiversity.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles, including King Cobra Facts and Chinese Alligator Facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Philippine crocodile coloring pages.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Shray Sharma

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

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Shray SharmaBachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

As an aspiring web and app developer, Shray has a passion for working with promising startups. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Maharaja Surajmal Institute Of Technology while gaining experience in digital marketing. Shray has already earned a Google Analytics Certification and is well-equipped to handle analytics and data management tasks. He has also served as a marketing manager at Parallax Virtual Arts, where he oversaw the company's social media, content, and SEO strategies. Shray's goal is to create engaging content that resonates with audiences and offers valuable insights.

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