Image: Saltwater Crocodile Illustration

Saltwater Crocodile Illustration

Saltwater Crocodiles are found in coastal rivers, estuaries, swamps and billabongs. They eat crustaceans, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Creator:
Andrew Howells
Rights:
© Australian Museum

Notes

Saltwater Crocodiles are found in coastal rivers, estuaries, swamps and billabongs. They eat crustaceans, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Saltwater Crocodiles find their food using their senses of sight, hearing and smell.

Saltwater Crocodiles silently stalk their prey or sit and wait for prey to come past. They seize prey in their jaws. Crocodiles pull their prey under the water and 'death roll' it to drown it. They only eat part of large prey items then store the rest underwater until a later time.They twist and tear off pieces of their prey. They swallow small animals whole.

Feral pigs and goannas eat Saltwater Crocodile eggs. Birds, large fish, turtles and water pythons eat hatchlings. Larger crocodiles eat other adult Saltwater Crocodiles.

Saltwater Crocodiles move around on all four legs. They swim with sideways movements of their body and tail.
Saltwater Crocodiles lay 40 to 60 oval eggs each breeding season. They lay their eggs in a mound of plants and mud.

Saltwater Crocodiles care for their young. The female guards the nest. She opens the nest when the young hatch and call out. The female carries the young to water in her mouth. She guards the young until they can look after themselves.

The temperature at which the eggs of the crocodiles are incubated determines the sex of the hatchlings:

  • Less than 30° C all hatchlings are female.
  • Above 32° C all hatchlings are male.

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