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Saltwater Crocodile - Crocodylus porosus
Topic Started: Jan 6 2012, 11:35 PM (16,485 Views)
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Apex Predator
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Saltwater Crocodile - Crocodylus porosus

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodylia
Family: Crocodylidae
Subfamily: Crocodylinae
Genus: Crocodylus
Species: C. porosus

Conservation status: Least concern

The saltwater crocodile, also known as estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, (Crocodylus porosus) is the largest of all living reptiles. It is found in suitable habitats in Northern Australia, the eastern coast of India and parts of Southeast Asia.

Anatomy and morphologyThe saltwater crocodile has a longer muzzle than the mugger crocodile: its length is twice its breadth at the base. The saltwater crocodile has fewer armor plates on its neck than other crocodilians, and its broad body contrasts with that of most other lean crocodiles, leading to early unverified assumptions that the reptile was an alligator.

Saltwater crocodile skull from The Museum of Zoology, Saint PetersburgNewly hatched saltwater crocodiles measure about 25 to 30 centimetres (9.8–12 in) long and weigh an average of 70 grams (2.5 oz). Males reach sexual maturity at around 3.3 metres (11 ft) at around 16 years of age, while females reach sexual maturity at 2.1 metres (6.9 ft) and 12–14 years. An adult male saltwater crocodile's weight is 409 to 1,000 kilograms (900–2,200 lb) and length is normally 4.1 to 5.5 metres (13–18 ft). However, mature males can exceed 6 metres (20 ft) and weigh more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb) and this species is the only extant crocodilian to regularly reach or exceed 4.8 metres (16 ft). Weight can vary enormously based upon condition and age, older males tending to outweigh younger ones since they maintain prime territories with access to better, more abundant prey. For example, crocodiles at 4.8 metres (16 ft) long have ranged in mass variously from 522 kilograms (1,150 lb) to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). This species has the greatest sexual dimorphism of any modern crocodilian, with females being much smaller than males. Typical female body lengths in the range of 2.3 to 3.5 metres (8–11 ft). The largest female on record measured about 4.2 metres (14 ft). The mean weight of the species as a whole is roughly 450 kilograms (1,000 lb).

Saltwater crocodile outside Cairns, QueenslandThe largest size saltwater crocodiles can reach is the subject of considerable controversy. The longest crocodile ever measured snout-to-tail and verified was the skin of a dead crocodile, which was 6.2 metres (20 ft) long. As skins tend to shrink slightly after removal from the carcass, this crocodile's living length was estimated at 6.3 metres (21 ft), and it could have weighed more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb). Incomplete remains (the skull of a crocodile shot in Orissa) have been claimed to come from a 7.6-metre (25 ft) crocodile, but scholarly examination suggested a length no greater than 7 metres (23 ft). There have been numerous claims of crocodiles in the 9-metre (30 ft) range: the crocodile shot in the Bay of Bengal in 1840, reported at 10 metres (33 ft); another killed in 1823 at Jalajala on the main island of Luzon in the Philippines reported at 8.2 metres (27 ft); a reported 7.6 metres (25 ft) crocodile killed in the Hooghly River in the Alipore District of Calcutta. However, examinations of these animals' skulls actually indicated animals ranging from 6 to 6.6 metres (20–21.7 ft).

A crocodile shot in Queensland in 1957 was reported to be 8.63 metres (28.3 ft) long, but no verified measurements were made and no remains of this crocodile exist. A "replica" of this crocodile has been made as a tourist attraction. Many other unconfirmed reports of crocodiles exceeding 8 metres (28+ ft) have been made[18][19] but these are highly unlikely.

With recent restoration of saltwater crocodile habitat and reduced poaching, it is possible that 7-metre (23 ft) crocodiles are alive today.[20] Guinness has accepted a claim of a 7-metre (23 ft), 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) male saltwater crocodile living within Bhitarkanika Park in the state of Orissa, India,[12][21] although, due to the difficulty of trapping and measuring a very large live crocodile, the accuracy of these dimensions has yet to be verified.

In September 2011 a 6.17 metres (20.2 ft) Saltwater crocodile was captured alive in the Philippines, making it one of the largest specimens ever reliably measured snout-to-tail.

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The saltwater crocodile is one of the three crocodilians found in India, the other two being the Mugger crocodile and the Gharial. Apart from the eastern coast of India, the saltwater crocodile is extremely rare in the Indian subcontinent. A huge population of saltwater crocodiles (consisting of many large adults, including a 7 meter male) is present within the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary of Orissa and they are known to be present in smaller numbers throughout the Indian and Bangladesh portions of the Sundarbans.

In northern Australia (which includes the northernmost parts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland) the Saltwater Crocodile is thriving, particularly in the multiple river systems near Darwin (such as the Adelaide, Mary and Daly Rivers, along with their adjacent billabongs and estuaries) where large (6 metre +) individuals are common. The Australian Saltwater Crocodile population is estimated at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 adults. Their range extends from Broome in Western Australia through the entire Northern Territory coast all the way down to Rockhampton in Queensland. The Alligator Rivers of Northern Australia are misnamed due to the resemblance of the saltwater crocodile to alligators as compared to freshwater crocodiles, which also inhabit the Northern Territory. In New Guinea they are also common, existing within the coastal reaches of virtually every river system in the country, along with all estuaries and mangroves. They are also present in varying numbers throughout the Bismarck Archipelago, the Kai Islands, the Aru Islands, the Maluku Islands, and many other islands within the region including Timor, and most islands within the Torres Strait.

The saltwater crocodile was historically found throughout South-east Asia but is now extinct throughout much of this range. This species has not been reported in the wild for decades in most of Indochina and is extinct in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and possibly Cambodia. The status of this species is critical within much of Myanmar, but there is a stable population of many large adults present in the Irrawaddy Delta. It is probable that the only country in Indochina still harboring wild populations of this species is Myanmar. Although Saltwater Crocodiles were once very common in the Mekong Delta (from where they disappeared in the 1980s) and other river systems, the future of this species in Indochina is now looking grim. However, it is also the least likely of crocodilians to become globally extinct due to its wide distribution and almost pre-colonial population sizes in Northern Australia and New Guinea.

The population is sporadic in Indonesia and Malaysia with some areas harbouring large populations (Borneo and Sumatra, for example) and others with very small, at-risk populations (e.g., Peninsular Malaysia). Despite the close proximity to the crocodile hot-bed of northern Australia, crocodiles no longer exist in Bali. This species is also extinct on Lombok, Komodo and most of Java. A small population may remain within Ujung Kulon National Park in western Java. The saltwater crocodile is also present in very limited parts of the South Pacific, with an average population in the Solomon Islands, a very small and soon to be extinct population in Vanuatu (where the population officially stands at only three) and a decent but at-risk population (which may be rebounding) in Palau. Saltwater crocodiles once ranged as far west as the east coast of Africa at the Seychelles Islands. These crocodiles were once believed to be a population of Nile crocodiles, but they were later proven to be Crocodylus porosus.

Due to its tendency to travel very long distances at sea, individual saltwater crocodiles occasionally show up in areas of which they are not native. Vagrant individuals have historically been reported on New Caledonia, Iwo Jima, Fiji, and even in the relatively frigid Sea of Japan (thousands of miles from their native territory.) In late 2008/early 2009 a handful of wild saltwater crocodiles were verified to be living within the river systems of Fraser Island, hundreds of kilometres from and in much cooler water than their normal Queensland range. It was discovered that these crocodiles did indeed migrate south to the island from northern Queensland during the warmer wet season and presumably returned to the north upon the seasonal temperature drop. Despite the surprise and shock within the Fraser Island public, this is apparently not new behaviour and in the distant past wild crocodiles had been reported occasionally appearing as far south as Brisbane during the warmer wet season.

Saltwater crocodile sunning itself at Corroboree in the Northern Territory of Australia.Saltwater crocodiles generally spend the tropical wet season in freshwater swamps and rivers, moving downstream to estuaries in the dry season, and sometimes travelling far out to sea. Crocodiles compete fiercely with each other for territory, with dominant males in particular occupying the most eligible stretches of freshwater creeks and streams. Junior crocodiles are thus forced into the more marginal river systems and sometimes into the ocean. This explains the large distribution of the animal (ranging from the east coast of India to northern Australia) as well as its being found in odd places on occasion (such as the Sea of Japan). Saltwater crocodiles can swim 15 to 18 miles per hour (6.7 to 8.0 m/s) in short bursts, but when cruising go 2 to 3 mph (0.9 to 1.3 m/s).

Diet and behaviour
The saltwater crocodile is an opportunistic apex predator capable of taking nearly any animal that enters its territory, either in the water or on dry land. They are known to attack humans who enter the crocodiles' territory. Juveniles are restricted to smaller animals such as insects, amphibians, crustaceans, small reptiles, and fish. The larger the animal grows, the greater the variety of animals it includes in the diet, although relatively small prey (especially fish) make up an important part of the diet even in adults. Large adult saltwater crocodiles can potentially eat any animals within their range, including monkeys, kangaroos, wild boar, dingos, goannas, birds, domestic livestock, pets, humans, water buffalo, gaurs, bats, and even sharks. Domestic cattle, horses, water buffalo, and gaur, all of which may weigh over a ton, are considered the largest prey taken by male crocodiles. Generally very lethargic – a trait which helps it survive months at a time without food – it typically loiters in the water or basks in the sun through much of the day, preferring to hunt at night. Saltwater crocodiles are capable of explosive bursts of speed when launching an attack from the water, but stories of crocodiles being faster than a race horse for short distances across the ground are little more than urban legend. At the water's edge, however, where they can combine propulsion from both feet and tail, eyewitness accounts are rare.

It usually waits for its prey to get close to the water's edge before striking, using its great strength to drag the animal back into the water. Most prey animals are killed by the great jaw pressure of the crocodile[citation needed], although some animals may be incidentally drowned. It is an extremely powerful animal; in one case, a one-tonne Suffolk stallion known to haul over two tonnes was pulled into water to its demise by a large male crocodile.[8] A large croc can crush a full-grown bovid's skull between its jaws. Its typical hunting technique is known as the "death roll": it grabs onto the animal and rolls powerfully. This throws any struggling large animal off balance, making it easier to drag it into the water. The "death roll" is also used for tearing apart large animals once they are dead.

Baby saltwater crocodiles may fall prey to monitor lizards, predatory fish, various aquatic and raptorial birds, larger crocodiles and other predators. Juveniles may also fall prey to tigers and leopards in certain parts of their range, although encounters between these predators are rare and cats are likely to usually avoid areas with saltwater crocodiles.

One researcher, Dr. Adam Britton, has been studying crocodilian intelligence. He has compiled a collection of Australian saltwater crocodile calls, and associated them with behaviors. His position is that while crocodilian brains are much smaller than those of mammals (as low as 0.05% of body weight in the saltwater crocodile), they are capable of learning difficult tasks with very little conditioning. He also infers that the crocodile calls hint at a deeper language ability than currently accepted. He suggests that saltwater crocodiles are clever animals that can possibly learn faster than lab rats. They have also learned to track the migratory route of their prey as the seasons change.

Attacks on humans
Data on attacks is limited outside of Australia. In Australia, attacks are rare and usually appear in national news publications when they do occur. There are approximately one to two fatal attacks reported per year in the country. The low level of attacks may be due to extensive efforts by wildlife officials in Australia to post crocodile warning signs at many at-risk billabongs, rivers, lakes and beaches. In the large Aboriginal community of Arnhem Land, attacks may go unreported.[citation needed] There have also been recent, less-publicised attacks in Borneo, Sumatra, eastern India (Andaman Islands), and in Myanmar.

During the Japanese retreat in the Battle of Ramree Island on February 19, 1945, saltwater crocodiles may have been responsible for the deaths of over 400 Japanese soldiers. British soldiers encircled the swampland through which the Japanese were retreating, condemning the Japanese to a night in the mangroves which was home to thousands of saltwater crocodiles. The Ramree crocodile attacks are listed under the heading "The Greatest Disaster Suffered from Animals" in Guinness World Records. Another notorious crocodile attack was in 1985, on eco-feminist Val Plumwood.

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Here's a Saltie eating a small shark.

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I scanned these articles a while ago, and some may have seen them.

Saltwater Crocodile v Bull Shark
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Saltwater Cocodile catching Sea Turtle
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The largest species of crocodile in the world is generally considered to be Crocodylus porosus, the saltwater or estuarine crocodile. In fact, this is the largest living reptile in the world by overall weight. Snake afficionados may argue that there are longer snakes, but none combine both length (over 6 metres) and body mass (well over 1,000 kg) to reach such large overall sizes like the saltwater crocodile can

Largest crocodile ever recorded?
What about the big fish stories I mentioned earlier? Would you believe the largest saltwater crocodile ever reported was 10.1 m (33.1 feet)? This animal was apparently killed in the Bay of Bengal, and was so large only its head was recovered. A skull reportedly belonging to this animal was stored in the British Museum, but when it was measured later it was estimated to have come from a 15.7 ft (4.8 m) crocodile - less than half the claimed length. The skull of another claimed 29 ft (8.8 m) monster was also later determined to belong to a crocodile no larger than 16.2 ft (4.9 m). These are still big crocodiles, but typical of the exaggeration normally associated with large crocodiles. Still, some of these stories seem more credible. Saltwater crocodiles above 6 m (19.7 feet) were certainly much more common in Australia and SE Asia before extensive hunting for their skins in the 1940's, 50's and 60's wiped out the big crocodiles. Some old hunters claim to have shot animals over 8 m (26 feet) during this period (e.g. a 27 ft [8.1 m] saltwater crocodile from the Staaton River in Queensland in the early 1970's). But without reliable measurements, such records are lost to the past.

So what is the largest crocodile ever recorded? In more recent times, there are very few reliable measurements of extremely large crocodiles, but they do exist. A skull from a saltwater crocodile from Orissa, India, was large enough to have come from a crocodile between 20 and 23 feet in length. Despite being the largest crocodile skull in the world, the true size of its original owner remains a mystery, because although you can estimate total length from skull size, there is enough variation to make such a measurement fairly inaccurate. As far as I can determine, the following are the only two reliable records from &complete& crocodiles over 20 feet in length. The first was a 20.3 foot (6.2 m) saltwater crocodile that became entangled in a fishing net set on the Mary River in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1974. The owners of the net killed the crocodile with an axe and removed the head, but it was eventually discovered by wildlife rangers and the separate head and body measured. The skull is on display at the Darwin Crocodile Farm, and still spots the axe marks that killed it. The second crocodile was also 20.3 feet (6.2 m) long, and was killed by local villagers living on the Fly River in Papua New Guinea in 1983. In this case, it was actually the skin that was measured by several zoologists including Jerome Montague and Rom Whitaker. Because skins are known to underestimate the original size of the actual animal, they concluded that the crocodile was at least another 10 cm / 3.9 inches longer. This is my candidate for the largest crocodile ever measured. Unfortunately, because of the time needed for wild crocodiles to reach this size, the low number of individuals which seem predisposed to reach such sizes, and problems of crocodiles conflicting with expanding human populations, it seems unlikely that we will see many of these giants again. "

Crocodilian Biology Database
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Aussie Crocs Found to Swim Up to 24 Miles Daily

By Andrea Thompson, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 25 September 2007 10:45 pm ET

Known for their lethargy, crocodiles weren't suspected to be top long-distance travelers, but a new study shows that they can cover up to 24 miles a day and find their way home from enormous distances.

To test crocodile swimming skills, researchers relocated three crocs between 32 and 80 miles (52 and 130 kilometers) away from their homes just north of Queensland, a state in the northwest of Australia, and set them free to see how well they could find their way back.

The study technique was largely put into practice by the efforts of the late Steve Irwin. Specially-designed transmitters attached to the back of the reptiles' heads allowed scientists to monitor progress, with some astounding results: the crocs swam between 6 and 24 (10 and 39 kilometers) a day, much farther than scientists previously thought they could.

One crocodile even swam around the northern tip of the Cape York Peninsula (which juts northward out from Queensland toward Papua New Guinea) to reach home, covering more than about 250 miles (400 kilometers) in 20 days.

"We often thought crocodiles tired very quickly, but here we show very clearly that they are capable of moving long distances for days on end," said study leader Craig Franklin of the University of Queensland.

Franklin says that the crocs, like birds, probably use many factors to navigate, including the position of the sun, magnetic fields, sight and smell.

"Crocodiles are more closely related to birds than they are any other reptile, so they are possibly using navigation systems similar to birds," Franklin said.

The data from the satellite tracking study, detailed in the online journal PLoS ONE, show that estuarine crocodiles are capable of moving phenomenal distances over prolonged periods of time in the ocean.

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Estuarine crocodiles, the largest of all living reptiles, were found to swim much larger distances than expected, finding their home from hundreds of miles away.

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Darwin awash with dumped pet crocs

By Zoie Jones

There has been a spike in the number of pet crocodiles being dumped in Darwin, with the latest on Wednesday night at a suburban shopping centre.

While not quite a killer croc on the loose, the discovery by two boys of a 60-centimetre crocodile still caused a stir.

Speaking on ABC Radio's AM program, crocodile catcher Tom Nicholls says it certainly caused a bit of excitement as there were a lot of kids around.

"The biggest problem was it was a numbered crocodile so I believe it was someone's pet," he said.

He says it has become more common for him to have to go and collect numbered crocodiles which have been dumped.

"We caught one out of a pool, and in a couple of streets and in the golf course which were released animals, which were bought as pets," he said.

In Darwin's urban area it is legal to buy a young crocodile over the counter, as long as you have a permit.

It is also legal to keep a crocodile smaller than 60 centimetres. But the problem arises with what to do with your pet crocodile once it gets too big.

Peter Phillips is a ranger with the NT Parks and Wildlife Service and says it is easy to tell if a dumped crocodile was once someone's pet.

"We do have better things to do with our time that try to run around and try to catch crocodiles that've been deliberately released," he said.

"Crocodiles are actually marked by cutting off a scoot on their tail - a scoot is one of those bumps you see that go down parallel with their tail.

"So each crocodile has a number and when we catch these crocodiles we know that it's actually been one that has been sold."

'Not a big problem'

One of the places to buy a crocodile in Darwin is Crocodylus Park, where a thriving hatchling costs $300.

Crocodylus Park chief scientist Charlie Manolis says the problem of dumped crocodiles is not as big as Parks and Wildlife is making out.

"There certainly is the odd little crocodile that has been found wandering the golf courses or the Red Rooster down the road, and that's either someone has not had their security quite right where they've had them at home, or alternatively they've left town and decided just to put them in the closest water hole," he said.

Crocodylus does accept returned crocodiles that have grown too big, but the former pets often have to be cared for separately.

He also says the recent early wet weather in Darwin is prompting many wild crocodiles to move around.

"There's crocodile habitat all around Darwin - it's not just pets," he said. "Crocs are moving around, it's raining, there's water everywhere.

"They might leave the river or creek and turn up in these odd places and I think most of the locals have learnt to live with that. "

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In Darwin, it is legal to buy a young crocodile over the counter, as long as you have a permit

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Captive v Wild Salwater Crodile Weights from Dr Adam Britton.
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Croc catches keep Territory lifestyle ticking

Posted 1 hour 31 minutes ago
Updated 1 hour 25 minutes ago

Nearly 240 crocodiles were pulled out of Darwin Harbour last year, just ten short of the record number caught four years ago.

The Northern Territory's Environment Minister Len Kiely says numbers are high but he's not considering a cull, or commercial hunting of crocodiles anytime soon.

"Safari hunting is not a priority at the moment. The priority is getting the Territory right, it's about continuing our great lifestyle.

"That's what the crocodile relocation plan is all about. It's continuing the Territory lifestyle and providing a safe environment for Darwin."

The biggest crocodile trapped was 4.2 metres long.

The largest crocodile trapped was 4.2 metres, but Mr Kiely says he'll keep on swimming at Darwin beaches despite the number and size caught.

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Rangers catch yet another crocodile in Darwin Harbour.

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Crocodile feeding frenzy filmed

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Watch Video : Forty Crocodiles Feast on Migrating Fish

A crocodile feeding frenzy has been caught on camera.
A BBC crew managed to film over 40 of the huge beasts gathering and working together to feast on fish migrating up the Mary River in Australia.

This cooperative feeding behaviour has only recently been discovered - saltwater crocodiles are usually highly territorial creatures.

The animals were filmed with the help of infrared cameras because the spectacle took place during the night.

Mullet migrate in spring; they wait for the high-tide so they can swim up-river to breed.

The crocodiles knew when to gather at the river. The BBC crew filmed them picking the mullet off one by one as the fish swam past.

The footage was recorded for BBC One's Life in Cold Blood.

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G'day Bait!


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THIS monster crocodile came within a metre of making a meal of fisherman Novon Mashiah on a Territory river. Novon's mate Doron Aviguy was on hand to SNAP this incredible photo.

A MONSTER crocodile came within a metre of making a meal of a fisherman on a Territory river.

The saltie came alongside the small boat _ probably looking for a free feed of fish _ and suddenly exploded out of the water.

It almost got its jaws around 27-year-old Israeli tourist Novon Mashiah (TOP), who was leaning over the back of a dinghy posing for a photo.

The crocodile, estimated to be more than 4m long, landed on the side of the boat and then crashed back into the water.

``I was shocked _ the animal clearly wanted to kill me,'' Mr Mashiah said.

``One minute I was leaning over the boat teasing it for a picture. The next minute it burst out of the water with incredible speed ... its jaws fully open.

``I was shaking,'' he said.

Mr Mashiah's fishing mate, Doron Aviguy, 22, snapped the pic from a bigger boat nearby.

The two Israelis were working as fishermen when they came face-to-face with the croc on Friday morning.

Mr Mashiah said that when he saw the croc approaching he leaned over the back of his boat.

``I began playing with it for a photo,'' he said.

``I was pointing at it when it suddenly jumped up at me _ I didn't realise that crocs were so aggressive.''

Mr Aviguy said they were not alarmed when the crocodile first approached the boat.

``I was laughing but it wasn't so funny in the end,'' he said.

Mr Mashiah, a personal trainer from Tel Aviv, only arrived in Darwin recently.

He met Mr Aviguy in Brisbane in early this year.

Mr Aviguy finished three years' national service in the Israeli army and has been backpacking for 11 months.

They travelled to Darwin and got jobs fishing.

``That's it _ I'm not getting close to crocs any more,'' said Mr Mashiah of his photo attempt.

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2 more accounts of Saltwater Crocodiles killing sharks.

No Bull: Saltwater Crocodile Eats Shark

Underwatertimes.com News Service

Darwin, Australia (Aug 13, 2007 17:08 EST) An extraordinary encounter between two of nature’s most fearsome man-eaters has been photographed by an amateur fisherman.

Indrek Urvet said that he watched in astonishment as a four-metre (13ft) saltwater crocodile made swift work of a much-smaller bull shark by the remote Daly River in the Northern Territory. “I just saw this big croc come charging out of the water with a shark flapping in its jaws. I turned my boat to take some photos. Suddenly the croc saw me. He turned around and came shooting towards me.”

Mr Urvet, who said that fishermen on the river frequently lost their catch to the bull sharks before they could reel it in, retreated and watched from a safer distance as the crocodile devoured the metre-long shark.

Bull sharks, which grow to 3.5m, are known to be highly aggressive and, unlike other marine sharks, can dwell for extended periods in both fresh and saltwater.

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Only one winner here ... a large saltwater crocodile latches on to a small bull shark on the banks of the Daly River. credit: Indrek Urvet


Battle of the Titans



THERE'S no need to be scared of sharks when you're in the Territory -- the crocs usually get to them first.

NEWSBREAKER Paul van Bruggen snapped these amazing pictures of a 2.5m saltie dining out on a shark on the banks of the Daly River.

"We went past one section of the river and we heard some splashing,'' he said.

"We looked across and saw a shark's tail coming up out of the water and then a crocodile's head came up and grabbed it.'' Mr van Bruggen said the crocodile knew exactly what it was doing, dragging the shark on to unfamiliar dry land before finishing off its prey.

"How smart is the crocodile? It if was you or me it would be dragging you in to drown you, but it takes the shark up on dry land,'' he said.

The fisherman, who was on the Daly River last Friday for the Barra Classic, said the crocodile definitely wanted shark for dinner.

"We were about 15 metres away and it didn't bat an eyelid,'' he said.

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Croc wins over shark jaws down


March 11th, 2009

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Winners are grinners.

THERE could only ever be one winner in this battle.

And this croc won the encounter with a gulp.

The 4.5m saltwater crocodile went head-to-head with the shark last week only metres from a boatload of surprised fishermen.

CRAIG VAN LAWICK was aboard the commercial barramundi vessel on the Wildman River 100km east of Darwin when the croc started devouring the one-metre shark.

"There was not a whole lot of sound," he said.

"All we could hear was the crunching sound."

Mr Van Lawick was unsure about the type of shark involved and said it was eaten too quickly to work it out.

Luckily another fisherman on board, Anthony Capogreco, reached for his camera and captured the animals in their brief but dramatic battle.

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Saltwater crocodiles surf across the ocean
Saltwater crocodiles surf across the ocean
Jeremy Hance
June 06, 2010

Despite being poor swimmers, researchers have discovered that the saltwater crocodile (also known as estuarine) commonly travels long distances over open oceans by riding ocean currents. The discovery, published in Journal of Animal Ecology, solves an unknown mystery of why saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are found across vast distance in the Pacific, yet have not diverged into different species.

Researchers tracked 27 adult saltwater crocodiles for one year using tags and sonar transmitters. The tagging showed that crocodile individuals, both male and female, regularly traveled more than 50 kilometers from their local rivers into the open sea. One crocodile traveled 590 kilometers in 25 days; another traveled 411 kilometers in 20 days.

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A 4.8 m male estuarine crocodile ready for release with satellite transmitter. This crocodile traveled over 590 km by sea. Photo courtesy of: the Australia Zoo.

The study found that the crocodiles begin their long-distance travel within an hour of the tide changing, allowing them to ride the current. When the tide turned the crocodiles would haul themselves up on to a river bank to wait for a favorable tide, sometimes they even waited days for the right tide.

"[The crocodiles] can survive for long periods in salt-water without eating or drinking, so by only travelling when surface currents are favorable, they would be able to move long distances by sea. This not only helps to explains how estuarine crocodiles move between oceanic islands, but also contributes to the theory that crocodilians have crossed major marine barriers during their evolutionary past," lead author Dr Hamish Campbell from University of Queensland said.

The saltwater crocodile's range extends from India to Fiji and from southern China to northern Australia. They are the world's largest crocodile species.
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Crocodile Devours Bull Shark At Kakadu

Friday, June 25, 2010
In the heavyweight championship bout of the animal kingdom, a giant crocodile defeated a shark in a TKO – and then enjoyed a victory seafood dinner.

Two boats full of tourists got the photo opportunity of a lifetime after the 16-foot crocodile’s decisive win on a river in Australia’s Kakadu National Park Saturday morning, the country’s Northern Territory News reported.

“Nearly 100 people saw it all…and they were jumping for joy,” tour guide David Cameron told the newspaper. “They said this had made their Kakadu trip.”

The loser, a bull shark that had meandered up the aptly named South Alligator River in search of food, was about 10 feet long before it was bitten in half. The croc had the home-field advantage because the seagoing shark was swimming through fresh water at the time of the attack.

Cameron, a former park ranger, told the newspaper it’s not the first time he’s seen the two species fight for a berth at the top of the food chain.

“With the wildlife here, you just don’t know what you’ll get to see,” he said. “That’s the beauty of it.”

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Snap - crocodile eating another crocodile

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Normally, you'd just put your head down and get on with it, but that's going to prove a little tricky for this 2.5m crocodile after his was eaten by his 5m mate.

Darwin's Michael Milatos, 54, was one of six people sitting in a 5m boat when they came across the scene at Corroboree Billabong in the Northern Territory.

"It seemed like it was about five or 10 minutes after the attack occurred - when we got there the big croc was pretty much stationary," he told the Northern Territory News.

"The other one wasn't really doing much ... although I think I saw the little fella's leg moving."

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Mr Milatos was one of six people sitting in a 5m boat when they came across the murder scene.

"When he took off, he just lifted himself off and he dragged the little guy in his mouth without any problem whatsoever," he said.

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