Austalian freshwater crocodile

Australian Freshwater Crocodile

Crocodylus johnstoni

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These crocs bask with their mouths open to prevent overheating.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes

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Australian Freshwater Crocodile

Freshwater crocodiles have strong legs, clawed webbed feet and powerful tails. Equally fast on land and water, these crocodiles can move at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour.

This croc is gray or olive-brown with a lighter underside and darker mottling or bands on the upper body, tail and sometimes snout. It has a smooth, narrow, tapering snout and a mouth lined with 68 to 72 sharp teeth. The fourth tooth on either side of the bottom jaw protrudes outward and can be seen when the animal's mouth is closed.

In the dry season, females lay about 20 eggs in sandy hollows, which they protect until they hatch. Hatchlings call from within the egg before hatching. An adult female responds by excavating the nest, picking them up in her mouth and carrying them to the water.


Australian Freshwater Crocodile Facts

Diet

In the wild, juveniles feed on insects, crustaceans and small fish. Larger crocodiles extend their diet to include amphibians, bats, large fish and land mammals. Adult crocodiles are sometimes cannibalistic and may eat juveniles. The Aquarium's crocodiles are fed fish, chicks and mice.

Size

Australian Freshwater Crocodiles reach an average of 6 feet and 32 pounds, though some can grow upward of 9 feet and 48 pounds.

Range

This species is restricted to the tropical regions of northern Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) and is found mainly in freshwater lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Population Status

In the past, this species was at risk of extinction because crocodiles were hunted for their skin. The population has made a comeback due to protection and sustainable farming, and there are an estimated 100,000 individuals in the wild. Habitat destruction is still a major threat.

Predators

Adult crocodiles, black kites, whistling kites, turtles and large fish eat juveniles, and lizards prey upon nests. Some aboriginal people hunt these crocs for food.

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John Seyjagat
Curator of Australian Exhibits

pressroom striped fish

As curator of the Australian exhibits, John's daily tasks include managing the exhibit staff and making sure all of our animals are healthy and happy! Learn More

A Note From the Caretaker

All of our crocodiles are named and conditioned to recognize their names as voice commands so that caretakers can enter their habitat to do regular daily maintenance. The largest and most dominant male’s name is Seven.

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore

The National Aquarium offers a three-hour showcase of more than 17,000 animals, including birds, frogs, sharks, dolphins and jellies.

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