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Saltwater Crocodiles Diet Feeding
(Crocodylus porosus)
What does a saltwater crocodile eat?
The quick answer to this question is…..anything it can get a hold of! They are known to eat rocks which is thought to be an aid to digestion. Sweetheart, a famous crocodile in the Northern Territory was found to have a large kerosene tin it munched on.

Saltwater Crocodiles will eat crustaceans, fish, turtles, snakes, lizards, birds, flying foxes (bats), kangaroos, dingoes, domestic dogs, horses, cattle, buffalo, pigs and of course human beings. Some things such as bones and hair that cannot be digested are brought back up or passed. Crocodiles are known to bring up giant hair balls of feral pig hair.

Saltwater Crocodiles have been known to bring down a fully grown buffalo. When attacking large prey they rely on their ambush technique. They are always watching and will note a large animal coming to the water to drink. The crocodile will lay in wait at the waters edge and grab the animal and drown it. This is what makes them so dangerous to humans.

The crocodile is able to sense a disturbance in the water such as an animal licking the water. The crocodile will wait until the animal is close enough for it to grab it in a sudden rush out of the water. Their speed of attack is frightening but limited, if they are not successful in taking the animal they will rarely chase it on land. They are known to forage on land injured crocodiles have been known to travel across land to forage at a garbage tip.

A crocodile can run fast over very short distances on land but is rarely seen doing so.

In the water a crocodile will investigate anything floating on the surface to see if it is a potential food source.

The stomach of saltwater crocodiles has been found to contain turtle shells, crabs, fish and larger prey.

When very small the crocodile will eat insects such as grasshoppers and lizards.

Saltwater crocodiles have been observed at flying fox colonies and bird nesting sites patiently sitting in the water underneath branches hanging over the water just waiting for the opportunity to grab a bird or bat that is unlucky enough to come within the crocodiles reach.

Crocodiles are known to leap out of the water to grab prey. They can propel themselves vertically for most of their body length straight up in the air to grab prey.

Saltwater crocodiles have also been observed feeding on sharks.

Saltwater Crocodiles have also been observed traveling to offshore islands in Australia in order to feed on hatching sea turtles. They know when the turtles are hatching so have learned this over time.

The powerful jaws of a saltwater crocodile can crush the skull of a horse or large prey.

A saltwater crocodile can survive for many months without feeding.

You should never ever camp near water in Northern Australia.

You should never be on the water in a small watercraft such as a canoe or surfboard.

You should never go to the same location at the waters edge. Crocodiles watch and if one see's you going to the waters edge the second or third time you go to that location it will probably be waiting for you just under the water at the same spot.

Extreme caution should be used when fishing or placing crabpots from land based locations. When you go to retrieve your crabpot there is a very good chance a crocodile will be waiting for you. When fishing from land you must be extremely vigilant and stand back from the waters edge. A nice barramundi is not worth risking your life for.

Never try to get close to get a good photograph of a wild saltwater crocodile. Go to a crocodile farm and with patience you will get as many photos as you like from behind the safety of a fence.
Gary Crockett
Copyright 2011
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