Amazing Facts About the Saltwater Crocodile By the mid-1960s, Saltwater crocodiles had nearly been hunted to extinction. Today, the population […]
Amazing Facts About the Saltwater Crocodile
By the mid-1960s, Saltwater crocodiles had nearly been hunted to extinction. Today, the population is considered to be at low risk, but illegal hunting, habitat loss, and antipathy towards the species (due of its reputation as a man-eater) continue to put pressure on the population.
The Saltwater crocodile is the quintessential opportunistic predator. It patiently waits for its prey, lurking beneath the surface of the water. It will feed on anything it can get its jaws around, including water buffalo, monkeys, wild boar, and even sharks.
The name saltwater crocodile is misleading. They can live in brackish waters along the coastline as well as in freshwater rivers and swamps.
Saltwater Crocodiles raise their young in freshwater areas.
Between November and March, the female lays 40 – 60 eggs in a nest made from plant matter and mud on a river bank.
The locations of Australian crocodile nests are sometimes used as an indication of how much rain can be expected during the oncoming wet season. Unfortunately, crocodiles don’t always get it right. Many nests are flooded every year, killing the embryos.
The eggs take 90 days to develop. The sex of the young saltwater crocodiles is determined by the incubation temperature. Below 30oC the hatchlings will be female, and above 32oC they will be male.
When saltwater crocodiles are about to hatch they make chirping sounds from within their eggs. Their mother then helps them by digging them out of the nest. Once they are hatched she takes them to the water’s edge in her mouth and from here on watches over them until they are able to look after themselves.