A giant crocodile skull from Can Tho, named “Dau Sau”, represents the largest known saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) ever reported from Vietnam

Thomas Ziegler, Nguyen Thien Tao, Nguyen Trung Minh, Rainier Manalo, Arvin Diesmos, Charlie Manolis

Abstract


We report on a large crocodile skull recovered from a river bank in August 2010 near Đầu Sấu Bridge, in An Binh, Ninh Kieu District, Cần Thơ Province, in southern Vietnam. As the skull from Cần Thơ, named “Đầu Sấu“ herein, is now deposited in the Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Hanoi, we reinvestigated the circumstances surrounding its discovery and provide exact measurements. Skull length (dorsal mid-point) is 70.7 cm. The morphological features confirm it is from a Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), and not a Siamese crocodile (C. siamensis), which historically also occurred throughout the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Skull measurements are compared with those of other large C. porosus skulls for which reliable estimates of total length are available. We also provide measurements of the prepared skull of “Lolong” (69.8 cm), a 6.17 m long C. porosus captured in the Philippines in 2011. On the basis of known skull length:total length ratios the crocodile from Cần Thơ is estimated to be 6.3-6.8 m long. The skull of Đầu Sấu is likely to have been buried for at least 100 years. We discuss the origin of the local name Đầu Sấu, which has traditional and cultural significance, and provide historical reports of crocodiles in the area. Đầu Sấu is smaller than the largest known C. porosus skull (76 cm), but is the largest ever reported from Vietnam, and one of the largest C. porosus known.

 


Keywords


Crocodylidae, Mekong delta, morphology, size, “LoLong”, Philippines.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Britton, A.R.C., Whitaker, R. and Whitaker, N. (2012). Here be a dragon: Exceptional size in a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) from the Philippines. Herpetological Review 43: 541-546.

Cần Thơ Online, 2010. Văn hoá - Giải trí. Một vài suy nghĩ về địa danh đầu sấu https://baocantho.com.vn/mot-vai-suy-nghi-ve-dia-danh-dau-sau [accessed: 30/10/2010]

Fukuda, Y., Saalfeld, K., Lindner, G. and Nichols, T. (2013). Estimation of total length from head length of saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in the Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Herpetology 47: 34-40.

Fukuda, Y., How, C.B., Seah, B., Yang, S., Pocklington, K. and Peng, L.K. (2018). Historical, exceptionally large skulls of saltwater crocodiles discovered at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in Singapore. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 66: 810-813.

Kar, S. (2006a). Record of a large saltwater crocodile from Orissa, India. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 25(3): 27.

Kar, S. (2006b). World’s largest crocodile skull? Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 25(4): 21-22.

Manolis, C. (2006). Record of a large saltwater crocodile from the Northern Territory, Australia. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 25(3): 27-28.

Murphy, D.J., Thuc, P.D. and Nguyen, T.L. (2004). The Siamese Crocodile Re-establishment Programme in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam, 1999-2004. Technical Report No. 48, Cat Tien National Park Conservation Project.

Platt, S.G., McCaskill, L., Rainwater, T.R., Temsiripong, Y., As-singkily, M., Simpson, B.K. and Bezuijen, M.R. (2018). Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis. In Crocodiles. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Fourth Edition, ed. by S.C. Manolis and C. Stevenson. Crocodile Specialist Group: Darwin.

Polet, G. (2002). Crocodylus siamensis re-introduced in Cat Tien National Park. Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 21: 9-10.

Whitaker, R. and Whitaker, N. (2008). Who’s got the biggest? Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 27(4): 26-30.

Webb, G.J.W., Manolis, S.C. and Brien, M.L. (2010). Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus. Pp. 99-113 in Crocodiles. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Third Edition, ed. by S.C. Manolis and C. Stevenson. Crocodile Specialist Group: Darwin.

Webb, G.J.W. and Messel, H. (1978). Morphometric analysis of Crocodylus porosus from the north coast of Arnhem Land, northern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 26: 1-27.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.15625/0866-7160/v41n4.14581 Display counter: Abstract : 381 views. PDF : 36 views.

 

          mitra usaha tani       budidayatani.com

Editorial Office:

1st Floor, A16 Building, 18B Hoang Quoc Viet Street, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: (+84) 24 3791 7101

Email: tapchisinhhoc@vjs.ac.vn