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 Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>