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Zoo Biol. 2012 Sep-Oct;31(5):534-45. doi: 10.1002/zoo.20418. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

Nesting phenology and clutch characteristics of captive Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) in Cambodia.

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Wildlife Conservation Society, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is considered one of the least studied and most critically endangered crocodilians in the world. Although few wild populations remain, more than 700,000 C. siamensis are held on commercial crocodile farms in Southeast Asia. Despite conservation concerns, many aspects of C. siamensis life history remain poorly known, particularly with regards to its reproductive biology. We studied nesting phenology, clutch characteristics, and other aspects of C. siamensis reproductive biology on crocodile farms in Cambodia during 2000 and 2001. Oviposition among captive crocodiles began in February and continued into early June. The mean (±1 SD) oviposition date based on pooled data from 2000 and 2001 was 5 April ± 24 days. Mean oviposition date differed significantly between 2000 and 2001, possibly as a result of annual variability among nesting cues. The mean incubation period was 72 ± 3 days and eggs hatched from 5 May to 18 August. Mean clutch size (25.0 ± 8.8 eggs; n = 183) differed significantly between years, possibly resulting from the >2.5-fold increase in sample size during 2001. There was no correlation between clutch size and oviposition date during either 2000 or 2001. A single female produced two clutches during 2001, complimenting previous reports of double-clutching among C. siamensis. The mean length and width of 515 eggs were 78.2 ± 4.9 and 48.1 ± 2.5 mm, respectively; mean egg mass was 90.8 ± 16.5 g (n = 471). One unpipped egg contained a set of twins.

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