Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saltwater Crocodiles Can Find Their Way Home

Date:
October 2, 2007
Source:
Public Library Of Science
Summary:
Three crocodiles relocated from their homes in Far North Queensland have been tracked swimming between 10 and 30 kilometres per day. One relocated crocodile swam around the northern tip of Australia to reach home -- covering more than 400 kilometres in 20 days.

Estuarine Crocodile.
Credit: Photo by C. Franklin

Three crocodiles relocated from their homes in Far North Queensland have been tracked swimming between 10 and 30 kilometres per day according to a collaborative research project by The University of Queensland, Australia Zoo and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Professor Craig Franklin, from the University's School of Integrative Biology, said one relocated crocodile swam around the northern tip of Australia to reach home -- covering more than 400 kilometres 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 the collaboration and led by Dr Mark Read (QPWS), Professor Franklin and Steve Irwin and funded in part by a generous bequest from the late Charles Tanner, a herpetologist who lived most of his life in Cooktown, and a grant from the Australian Research Council.

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 back to the scientists.

The results highlighted the success of satellite tracking for crocodiles allowing continuous tracking without human interference.

Professor Franklin said “Satellite technology is a great way of tracking these really cryptic animals which are difficult to follow.

"The success of the study was also recognition of the skills and knowledge that Steve Irwin brought to the project."

He said Steve Irwin was a major driving force behind the study, and his intellectual and logistical support complimented the knowledge, experience and contributions made by the other team members.

"He also gave us the assistance of the croc team from Australia Zoo, who are highly skilled in the capture and care of crocodiles."

All three monitored crocodiles were moved by helicopter between 52 and 130 kilometres away but still found their way back to their capture sites. One crocodile was flown across Cape York Peninsula from the west to east coast, and then circumnavigated the peninsula to return home.

He said crocodiles probably used many factors such as its position to the sun, magnetic fields, sight, and smell to navigate.

“Crocodiles are more closely related to birds than they are any other reptile so they are possibly using navigation systems similar to birds?”

He said the data showed that estuarine crocodiles were oceanic animals which could move phenomenal distances over a prolonged period of time.

He said further satellite and acoustic tracking studies would reveal even more impressive results about crocodile behaviour in coming months and years.

Citation: Read MA, Grigg GC, Irwin SR, Shanahan D, Franklin CE (2007) Satellite Tracking Reveals Long Distance Coastal Travel and Homing by Translocated Estuarine Crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus. PLoS One 2(9): e949. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000949


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library Of Science. "Saltwater Crocodiles Can Find Their Way Home." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926141258.htm>.
Public Library Of Science. (2007, October 2). Saltwater Crocodiles Can Find Their Way Home. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926141258.htm
Public Library Of Science. "Saltwater Crocodiles Can Find Their Way Home." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926141258.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins