Did you know that saltwater crocodiles in Australia are believed to be capable of swimming for hundreds of kilometers without getting lost? In a recent research, it was discovered that they have a natural guidance system, quite similar to that of birds.
There is a group of researchers down at the University of Queensland, Australia who are using satellite tracking to map the complete route of crocodiles that they have tagged and then dropped intentionally far away from their home regions from a helicopter. It was an effort to keep crocodiles away from the beaches that are a hotspot for tourists and bathers.
The species involved in this study was the Crocodylus porosus or more commonly known as the Large Estuarine Crocodile. Some of the subjects were captured along the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, which is at the north of Australia. They were then flown all the way over to the East coast in a helicopter and then dropped into the water. About three weeks later though, the same crocodiles found their way back to their homes, completing a 400 km journey in the process. This incident was not just isolated to a single crocodile but several that were a part of the experiment. The least distance a crocodile was displaced was by about 130 kilometers. They all came back, some like boomerangs – almost instantly. Lead researcher, Craig Franklin said that he personally believed Crocodiles got tired quick but this hasty return to their natural habitat suggests that they are capable long distance swimmers.
In yet another study in conjunction with the Australian Zoo, these reptiles were fitted with a GPS tracker designed specifically to second the above observation through an experiment. The trackers were mounted right behind the crocodile head. The purpose of the experiment was to figure out how crocodiles navigated across vast distances. In the view of the researchers and Franklin himself, it seems crocodiles rely on various elements such as magnetic fields, smell, sight, position of the sun. Basically, they have inherited their geo-positioning characteristics from bird cousins and therefore seem to be able to find their home from vast distances away.
It is also reported that natives are now taking to liking crocodiles so much that they are forming part of the daily diet. Back in 2011, we reported on how people were vacuum sealing whole birds to store them long-term; thus creating a sustainable and edible food source. This guide on butchering chickens ties in well with the end result (vacuum sealing). Of course, to go down this route, you’d need a vacuum sealer – and that’s why it’s always suggested to read through vacuum sealer reviews before opting to buy one; to ensure that your vacuum sealer is suitable for your needs. However, from our own research, we are yet to find a vacuum sealer capable of storing crocodiles. Ha.