When you holiday in the Northern Territory, it’s sensible to check with Parks and Wildlife centers to discover where it’s safe to get in the water. There are water leisure centres and tours to keep you safe from the saltwater croc. Visit a crocodile park or farm; they allow you to hold a baby croc. They are very soft and cold to the touch. Help feed the little and huge crocodiles. Get some terrific photos. Read the following to learn what you may not know about the’salty’.
1. A saltwater crocodile has 65 teeth.
Their teeth are sharp-pointed, inter-locking and are replaced. A single croc may grow up to 3,000 teeth in its lifetime. A small bird hops right into the ancient estuarine Crocodile’s mouth and cleans its teeth.
2. A saltwater crocodile swallows stones and pebbles
It’s believed the purpose of this is to give them ballast when diving, and are often ingested to aid digestion – crushing food by a grinding action within the gizzard of the gut. ‘Kill two birds with one stone!’
Because Northern Australia has some small, inoffensive crocodiles limited to brackish or fresh water, most people think all inland crocodiles are freshwater crocodiles. That’s very misleading. It can and has lulled people taking great risks in what are now unsafe places since they know the freshwater crocodile to be generally benign,unless provoked. The saltwater crocodile begins its life in brackish or fresh water, and only travels out to the sea when it is nearly fully grown to seek out new territory.
4. A saltwater crocodile can and will swim from ocean estuaries hundreds of kilometers
They swim into freshwater tributaries, lagoons, swamps and rivers. Saltwater crocodiles have been known to live there for the rest of their lives. Therefore, do not think that they are only in the sea.
5. A saltwater crocodile has heavily ossified scales along its back called the armor.
Their scales are the same material that hooves and nails are made out of; keratin. One of the chief functions of crocodile scales is for their protection.
6. The saltwater breeding female crocodile will chill her eggs with water carried by her mouth into the nest or spray urine on them.
She lays about 30 to 90 eggs and covers them with more of the identical material. They are incubated for 3 months. The saltwater crocodile lays in the rainy season and many nests are destroyed by floodwaters.
7. The saltwater breeding female crocodile will gather the hatchlings in her mouth.
When she hears the babies chirping, she digs them from the nest and carefully carries them to the water’s edge in her mouth. She will watch over them until they can care for themselves.
8. A saltwater man crocodile is cannibalistic.
Juvenile crocodiles are consumed by the territorial older men. In spite of all the mother’s care, only about 20% survive to adulthood, as goannas, snakes, sharks, birds and turtles will eat them, also.
9. The saltwater crocodile has a strong muscular tail that it uses to propel itself forward
All the propulsion and steering comes from the paddling of the flattened tail.
10. Crocodile culling was last completed in 1971 from the Northern Territory.
Saltwater crocodiles are now, unfortunately, becoming a public menace as their numbers grow. They have grown in the Northern Territory from about 5,000 to 80,000 in 38 years, and they’re moving closer to residential areas.
Is it up to us to stay out of the way?
It is the larger crocodile that breeds and it would be these big ones which the crocodile hunter would aim. The Parks and Wildlife have taken many big dangerous saltwater crocodiles away from regions that humans also frequent. They’ve been known to return in a couple of weeks, unless they’re taken to a crocodile farm. It has been said, by interested parties, that even if dozens of crocodiles were culled, how can it be ensured that just one crocodile won’t come into a proclaimed safe location. It only takes one reptile to kill 1 person.