Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saltwater Crocodiles Can Find Their Way Home

26.09.2007
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.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosone.org
http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0000949

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>