Brunei's Crocodile Revisited

Last Thursday, there was this story on BB about a crocodile peeping through someone's riverine house. I remember writing about crocodiles as a blog entry about 2 years back. So it's time to recycle old blog entries:-

Do you remember the news story on BB about a couple of weeks back about someone finding a baby crocodile in one of the drains near the houses at Bengkurong? That baby crocodile most probably came from the nearby river. In fact that river is fairly well known for its crocodiles which the locals have sighted every so often. I read somewhere that these crocodiles if they live long enough probably can reach as long as 9 meters (30 feet) long.

According to the scientists, there are many types or genus of crocodiles but in Brunei, there are only two types. One is the Crocodylus Porosus or the English Salt Water Crocodile or in Brunei, known as Buaya Katak. I am not sure why it's called that especially if it can grow up to 30 feet long. The other type is the genus Tomistoma Schegelii or known as Buaya Penjulung. The obvious difference between the two is the snout of the crocodiles. Buaya Katak's snout is more rounded whereas Buaya Penjulung's snout is narrower. But so far there is insufficient evidence that there still exists Buaya Penjulung in Brunei even though some fishermen claimed that they have seen and caught it in the past.

Interestingly enough, there is a little known debate among crocodile experts which spilled over to the internet about the possibility of a third genus of crocodile in Brunei known as Crocodylus Raninus. It was once thought that in Borneo up to 4 types of crocodiles existed, the Crocodylus Porosus, Crocodylus Raninus, Tomistoma Schegelii and Crocodylus Siamensis. Crocodylus Raninus is a freshwater crocodile and was said to have been seen about 100 years ago in Sarawak but now considered more or less extinct. However a Raninus skull was found in Tasek Merimbun not that long ago and many biologists harbour the thought that there are two types of crocodiles living in Tasek Merimbun instead of one.

I am not sure whether I like the idea of even one type of crocodile living anywhere, let alone two types. If you really want to see crocodiles without having to be surprised by finding one in your drain, Louis Mini Zoo in Tutong has a big collection of them in any size you want. Let's just hope they stay there. hur


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