Saltwater crocodiles find their way home

September 26, 2007

Australian scientists have discovered saltwater crocodiles have the ability to return to their home territory across significant distances.

Researchers from the University of Queensland, the Australia Zoo and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have tracked crocodiles swimming between six and 18 miles a day in such efforts.

Professor Craig Franklin of the university's School of Integrative Biology said one relocated crocodile swam around the northern tip of Australia to reach home, covering more than 250 miles in 20 days.

"We often thought crocodiles tired very quickly, but here we show very clearly that they are capable of moving long distances for days on end," Franklin said.

The results come from the first satellite tracking study of wild crocodiles undertaken by a collaboration led by Franklin, Mark Read of the park and wildlife service and late wildlife expert Steve Irwin.

The crocodiles were tracked using a specially-designed transmitter attached to the back of their heads that collected the data and relayed it via satellite to the scientists.

The study is to be reported in the online journal PLoS One.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Size matters when crocs are on the move

Related Stories

Size matters when crocs are on the move

September 21, 2015

Crocodiles turning up in populated areas like Darwin Harbour or on east coast beaches can cause problems, but a long-term University of Queensland study is shedding light on which crocodiles travel and why.

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

October 9, 2015

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials ...

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.