Skin parasite trails
When we examine the belly skin of wild crocodiles, we frequently see these convoluted trails covering many scales. In some individuals, these trails can cover over 80% of the belly. They are caused by a small parasite Paratrichosoma which burrows through the skin just below the surface. Paratrichosoma is transmitted easily through water, and in a single billabong all crocodiles can quickly become infected. It does not seem to adversely affect the crocodiles.
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