Here in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, one of the few remaining wild populations of mugger crocodiles lives.
And here, several more of these ancient predators have just joined the world.
Reptiles, for the most part, lay their eggs and leave the scene. But, muggers, like other species of crocodilians, watch over their eggs as they incubate, and then watch over their brood once they hatch.
And, unlike many fathers in nature, our mugger dad plays a substantial, caring role.
If they survive to adulthood, these little ones could grow to be 15 feet long…but for the next year or so, these little guys will stick with their father for protection. There’s safety in numbers, and safety with Dad.
When it comes to meal time, though, they’re on their own.
Luckily, they are born already knowing what to do, which is good because babies this small need to eat frequently. For the first few years of their lives, they will grow about a foot every year.
They’ll have to practice hunting quite a bit, though, to master these skills.
This little mugger has the right idea but isn’t quite sure yet how to finish the job. The croc’s sibling arrives and the two vie for the same prize.
However, in the end our little guy wins out and enjoys his well-earned meal.