The Freshwater Crocodile is the smaller, quieter and more timid version of the large Saltwater Crocodile. Located in the Northern parts of Australia in Freshwater water ways. The Freshwater Crocodile can live in salt water quite successfully however is often bullied out by the Saltwater Crocodile.
Male Freshwater Crocodiles are around 2.5 to 3 meters in length and can weigh up to 50 kilograms where as the female will grow to only 2 meters long. Freshwater Crocodiles can live happily to up to 16 years for males and 12 years for females, in their fresh water rivers, lakes, billabongs, creeks and permanent streams.
Mating between Freshwater Crocodiles occurs in the water during July, there are typically 12 eggs which are laid between August and September in one night.
A female Freshwater Crocodile will keep using the same nest, these nests are made in the sandy river banks around 10 meters from the water. A nest is made from a hole in the ground. The sex of the hatchling can be determined by temperature. The further the hole is dug out the cooler the temperature, usually if the eggs are cooler they will be female. If the eggs are closer to the surface and the sun they will be male.
The female crocodile will leave her eggs unprotected for up to 13 weeks, when the eggs are hatching the young will wait to hear the mother patrolling the area, then they will call out for her. Once the female has hear these cries she will dig out the eggs and help them out of their shells and carries them to the water.
Due to wild pigs and over scavengers only 30% of eggs will hatch, and due to other predators only 1% of hatchlings will make it to mature age.
Known as ambush predators, the crocodile will weight for its prey to be within range then it will attack it. They have long and narrow snouts with sharp teeth making it ideal to hunt for aquatic animals. Freshwater Crocodiles are known to eat fish, frogs, lizards, turtles, cray fish, insects and spiders.
Unfortunately because of the low number of hatchlings as well as being hunted for their skins prior to 1963 when it then became illegal to hunt crocodiles. The Freshwater Crocodile has been placed on the protected species list. There is around 100,000 Freshwater Crocodiles in Australia, with the introduction of the Cane Toad the numbers are slowly dropping in the wild. It is believed that the Cane Toad is poisoning the Crocodiles habitat.
Cane Toad numbers are spreading across Australia, with no way of getting them out of Australia as yet. In Australia you must kill a Cane Toad if it is found, as they are destroying our precious eco system.