Common Name: Saltwater crocodile
Associated with: Per
Joseph Bramley Fordham
Date Made/Found: Before 1879
, 1830 - 1904
Material and Medium: Bone
Dimensions: Scientific: Length, Dorsal Cranium: 660 × Length, Mandible: 850 × Length , Snout - Eye: 460 × Width, Cranium: 380mm (26 × 33 7/16 × 18 1/8 × 14 15/16in.)
Total Length of entire crocodile (estimate): 554~594cm
Place Object Found:
Department: Natural History
Accession Number: C188.8.131.52
This specimen of salt water crocodile originally lived in the River Baitarani in North East India. It was shot whilst trying to eat Frederick Webster, a Sheffield man who was working as an official in India. This crocodile, a member of the biggest living species of reptile, must have been a notorious man-eater, as several iron arm bangles and anklets were found in its stomach. Recent estimates of the crocodile's total length, based on skull measurements, suggests that it was around 5.5 - 6.0m long when alive. If accurate, this places Webster's Crocodile within the top 10 of the largest saltwater crocodiles ever recorded.
Webster preserved and kept the skull as a memento of his near death experience. At some point in the mid-19th century, the skull came to Webster's home town and passed to an iron monger called Joseph Fordham. In 1879, Fordham instructed Captain Laycock to give the skull and its associated bangles to the museum.
Today, salt water crocodiles are considered rare in India, but can still be found near to where this one was found in Bhitarkanika National Park.
Weston Park Museum