September 29, 2011

Outback Wrangler: Flying Crocs Facts

After a while, crocodile!

  • Mature saltwater crocodiles are able to reduce their heart rate down to two to three beats per minute, enabling them to stay camouflaged from prey and submerged under water for at least an hour.

  • Saltwater crocodiles can live to be over 70 years old. They have an average length of about 17 feet (5 meters). The longest confirmed crocodile in the Northern Territory was discovered in the mid 1980s and measured just over 20 feet (6.2 meters).

  • Saltwater crocodiles are now expanding their distribution in Australia's Northern Territory by traveling upstream and taking over freshwater habitats.

  • About 90% of the annual rainfall in northern Australia falls within the "wet season," typically November to March—a time of heavy tropical downpours, high temperatures, and extreme humidity.

  • The Northern Territory occupies about one sixth of Australia's total land area, and includes three of Australia's largest islands—Groote Eylandt, Bathurst Island, and Melville Island, as well as many smaller islands. The Territory coastline is about 8,400 miles long.

  • In the Northern Territory, the ratio of crocodiles to humans is almost one to one.

  • In short bursts, most crocodiles can swim around six miles per hour and run up to seven miles per hour.

  • A crocodile's jaw can hold up to 68 teeth, which are continuously replaced over the course of the crocodile's life.

  • The crocodile's digestive system can break down bones and shells, but has a hard time digesting plants, hair, nails, or hard insect parts.

Learn more about saltwater crocodiles »

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