Sunday, October 10, 2010

Australian freshwater crocodile

The Australian freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnsoni) is also known as the Johnston's crocodile  and is found in northern Australia.  It is not known to attack humans as their prey is much smaller but no child should be left alone near this animal.  There have not been many reports of attacks or deaths.  It is much smaller than the saltwater crocodile.  It is locally called as the 'freshie.'  

Physical features                                               Snout of a freshwater crocodile
  Males measure about 9 feet and female grow up to 7 feet.  Their body color is light brown   and its body scales are big.  There were some specimens which were about 13 feet.  This species is very shy and is not aggressive like the saltwater crocodile.  It has a very slender snout and is a relatively small crocodilian.  It has round scales which cover the outsides and flanks of the legs.

The freshwater crocodile eats bats, amphibians, reptiles and fish.  It may even eat larger animals like wallaby.

Distribution and Habitat
They occur in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.  It prefers habitats like billabongs, creeks, wetlands and rivers.  They are not in the range of the saltwater crocodile.  Even though they live in freshwater habitats, they are tolerant to saltwater.
Conservation status                          A 'freshie' in Hartley's Crocodile farm at Cairns
The freshwater crocodile is not under much threat.  Only few numbers have decreased as it preys on the cane toad and dies due to the toxin secreted from the paratoid gland.

Source of picture 1:
Source of picture 2:

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