An Alternative View of Crocodiles

Copyright Phillip A. Ellis © 2009

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"Its most deadly attack is called the death roll"

Type Freshwater Crocodiles, in Water Freshwater Crocodiles, on Land
Lvl 1A 1A
Base Rate 40 20
Max. Pace/MN Bonus Run/+20 Run/+0
Size/Crits M/-- M/--
Hits 75D 75D
AT (DB) 7(20) 7(0)
Attacks 40SBi100 25TBi50/25SBa50/40SBi√
# Enc. 1-10 1-10
Treasure -- --
Bonus XP -- --
Outlook (IQ) Normal Normal

Type Saltwater Crocodiles, in Water Saltwater Crocodiles, on Land
Lvl 4C 4C
Base Rate 50 30
Max. Pace/MN Bonus Dash/+20 Run/+0
Size/Crits L/-- L/--
Hits 120E 120E
AT (DB) 7(10) 7(0)
Attacks 80LBi100/80LGr√/Special 75MBi50/60MBa50/80LBi√
# Enc. 1-10 1-10
Treasure -- --
Bonus XP B A
Outlook (IQ) Aggres. Aggres.

Freshwater Crocodile hn-(--), BFLMQS, (--), (--)-3

The freshwater crocodile, or Johnston's Crocodile, is a species of crocodile that is much smaller than the saltwater crocodile. Although it will bite if disturbed or if it feels threatened, the freshwater crocodile's jaws are neither big enough nor strong enough to seriously harm humans and other races. They usually ignore people when they warm themselves in the sun, as long as they are left in peace.

The freshwater crocodile is relatively small. Males can grow up to ten feet in length, whilst females reach a maximum length of seven feet. Their colour is light brown, but with darker bands on both the body and the tail. Main habitats include freshwater wetlands, isolated watercourses, rivers, and creeks. It competes poorly with saltwater crocodiles but is salt water tolerant. It eats, as an adult, bats, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

Saltwater Crocodile hn-(--), FLMOQS, (--), (--)-3

The Saltwater or Estuarine Crocodile is among the largest of all living reptiles. A typical adult male is between sixteen to seventeen feet long, but they have been known to grow to twenty-three feet plus in length. Females are much smaller, typically seven to nine feet in length (treat as small crocodiles). The saltwater crocodile has a broad body, in contrast to freshwater crocodiles.

Saltwater crocodiles are usually found in freshwater rivers and swamps during the tropical wet season. In the dry season, they move down to the estuaries, and sometimes they travel far out to sea. Saltwater crocodiles are fiercely territorial, with dominant males occupying the choicest stretches of freshwater creeks and streams. Junior crocodiles are usually found in more marginal river systems, and sometimes in the open sea.

The saltwater crocodile is an opportunistic predator, and it can take animals as large as an adult water buffalo. The young are restricted to smaller prey; these include fish, insects, crustaceans, small reptiles, and amphibians. The larger the animal grows, the greater the variety of items it includes in the diet. They eat birds, sharks, dingos, humans, leopards, monkeys, wild boars, goannas, kangaroos, water buffaloes, and domestic animals, amongst others.

Saltwater crocodiles are usually lethargic during the day. Then, they tend to loiter in the water, or to bask in the sunlight on banks. At night, however, they prefer to hunt. They are capable of quick, short bursts of speed when they attack from the water. They also usually wait for their prey to get close to the water's edge before striking. Then, they drag the animal back into the water. Most prey are killed by the crocodile's jaw pressure, although some animals may be drowned. The saltwater crocodile is able to crush a full-grown buffalo's skull between its jaws.

Its most deadly attack is called the death roll. It grabs onto an animal and rolls powerfully. This throws any struggling large animal off balance, and it makes it easier to drag it into the water. The death roll is also used to tear apart large animals once dead. Although saltwater crocodiles are very dangerous, attacks on humans are infrequent. However, most such attacks by adults are fatal.