Saltwater crocodiles are the largest extant riparian predators in the world. However, they start life fairly small. Newly hatched saltwater crocodiles measure about 28 cm (11 in) long and weigh an average of 71 g (2. 5 oz). Males reach sexual maturity around 3. 3 m (10 ft 10 in) at around 16 years of age, while females reach sexual maturity at 2. 1 m (6 ft 11 in) and 12â14 years of age. These sizes and ages are almost identical to those at average sexual maturity in Nile crocodiles, despite that average adult male saltwater crocodiles are considerably larger than average adult male Nile crocodiles. The weight of a crocodile increases approximately cubically as length increases (see square-cube law). This explains why individuals at 6 m (19 ft 8 in) can weigh more than twice that of individuals at 5 m (16 ft). In crocodiles, linear growth eventually decreases and they start getting bulkier at a certain point. Dominant males also tend to outweigh others, as they maintain prime territories with access to better, more abundant prey.
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