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Yala crocodiles in the lake

The living dinosaurs of Sri Lanka (5 interesting facts about Mugger & Saltwater crocs)

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you have to hand it to the crocodilians for probably being one of the most resilient creatures to have ever existed. Their heritage originates all the way back in the Triassic period; that’s a whopping 230 Million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed freely on this planet. These creatures hit a genetic lottery very early by having a near perfect design and haven’t had to change much at all over the millennia. With that kind of advantage, it’s no wonder that they are found all over the world. Sri Lankan wildlife is plentiful, and one of the best ways to check them out is on a Jeep Safari.

Here are some interesting things to note about the crocodilians you will encounter on your safari:

  1. Bucking the trend - The Crocodylus palustris or Mugger crocodile, as it is more commonly known, is plentiful in Sri Lanka. In fact they number in the thousands and are definitely flourishing, which is curious because elsewhere in the world the Mugger populations are in decline.

  2. Bucking the trend… the other way - Whilst the Mugger seems to have found the secret to success, its distinctly larger cousin Crocodylus porosus, the Saltwater crocodile, has been dwindling in its numbers here, even though they are flourishing in other Asian countries and also, of course, in Australia.

  3. Litmus test - Crocs are the top predators in an ecosystem. Their plentiful presence is a great indicator that all is well in that aquatic system. Muggers mainly diet on fish, smaller mammals and reptiles and play a crucial part in preventing overpopulation of these species.

  4. The sky is not the limit - Although crocs love tropical conditions and are found in almost every water system in Sri Lanka, curiously they are not found in any location 150m above sea level. If you are going on a Safari in Sri Lanka, there’s plenty of lowland National Parks under this limit for you to see crocodiles, so don’t you worry.

  5. So moody - Muggers in a locality generally have two types of moods when it comes to interacting with humans; they are either ferocious towards them or laid back and chilled out so much that humans can fish, swim or bathe in the same waters! Saltwater Crocodiles on the other hand have only one mood and it’s always chomp time!

When it comes to camping, Sri Lanka has some fantastic locations and coupling this with Jeep Safaris is one of the best ways to check out Sri Lanka’s Flora and fauna. If you are interested in checking out crocodiles in Sri Lanka contact Sri Lanka Big Game Camps. They are great for guided, budget-friendly Sri Lankan Safaris coupled with very comfortable camping accommodation.