Siamese Crocodile

(Crocodylus siamensis)




Facts about this animal

The snout of the Siamese Crocodile is medium in length, about 1.5 to 2 times as long as broad at the level of the front corners of the eyes, and comparatively flat. It has an unpaired elevated area in front of the eyes, triangle-shaped in the outline and with somewhat swollen side margins which extend nearly to the nasal swelling. It has, in contrast to all other crocodiles, a medial bony ridge on the top of the cranial plate between the eyes. The colour of the upper body surface is dark olive, spotted with black; youngsters have dark crossbands on the trunk and tail, fading in the course of growth. The lower surface is uniformly light, without black blotches. The iris is greenish. It can grow up to 3.8 m, but is usually about 3 m.

Did you know?
that Siamese crocodiles are hybridized with saltwater crocodiles in crocodile farms, because the hybrids are preferred by the skin trade for the quality of their skins and their superior growth rates, hence increased yield? This is actually very problematic considering that the Siamese crocodile is highly endangered in the wild and that occasionally animals from crocodile farms are used for reintroductions.


Name (Scientific) Crocodylus siamensis
Name (English) Siamese Crocodile
Name (French) Crocodile de Siam
Name (German) Siam-Krokodil
Name (Spanish) Cocodrilo del Siam
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



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Range Cambodia , Indonesia , Lao People's Democratic Republic , Myanmar (?), Thailand (ex?) , Viet Nam
Habitat Swamps, lakes and rivers
Wild population Approx. < 5'000. C. siamensis lives today in widely fragmented small populations in the freshwater swamps, livers and lakes of its range. Although it is frequently bred in farms, this is often of no conservation value, because it is hybridised there with other species.
Zoo population 148 reported to ISIS (2005)

In the Zoo

Siamese Crocodile


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 42 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Emmett Brown

Why do zoos keep this animal

C. siamensis is perfectly suited in zoos for the demonstration of the problem of fragmentation of the natural habitat and the ensuing threat of extinction of a species through human influence. Also an internationally coordinated conservation breeding program for this keystone species is highly recommended. Keeping this medium sized species in spacious, well structured enclosures makes therefore a lot of sense.