Crocodylus johnsoni or the Freshwater Crocodile
The freshwater crocodile is the smaller of the two crocodile species found in Australia. Males reach a maximum length of about 3 metres, while the females grow to about 1.5 metres. In the wild the freshwater crocodile is a relatively shy animal that feeds primarily on fish. The snout of this crocodile is long and smooth, compared to the wide, rugged snout of the saltwater crocodile. Crocodiles can easily be called living dinosaurs. With a perfectly evolved body for long life with little need of exertion or food, crocodiles, now that they are protected, should be around for another million years or so.
From August to September females dig nests in the open sandy areas approximately 10 metres from the water, in which they will lay about 12 eggs. After some 90 days the babies begin to hatch. The cries of the baby crocodiles will prompt the mother, or another female close by, to excavate the nest, setting the babies free. Just like the saltwater crocodile, the freshwater crocodile will carry its young to the water. Groups of juvenile freshwater crocodiles form creches that are attended by adult female crocodiles.
Did you know...
- The freshwater crocodile is the smaller of the two crocodile species found in Australia. Males reach a maximum length of about 3 metres, while the females grow to about 1.5 metres.
- In the wild the freshwater crocodile is a relatively shy animal that feeds primarily on fish.
- Crocodiles can easily be called 'living dinosaurs', with fossil crocodiles dating back hundreds of millions of years.
- There's a belief that crocodiles haven't changed much over this time, but nothing could be further from the truth. Millions of years ago, there were many more species of crocodiles, ranging from sea-dwellers through to tree-climbing crocs!
Where Freswater Crocodiles can be found in Australia: