PIC OF THE MONTH


Crocodilian images which reveal fascinating stories told from a visual perspective.



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Domestic Violence

Female crocodile in the jaws of a male

During the breeding season, a female approaching a sexually mature male is often courted with the intention of mating. Once the breeding season is over, however, crocodilian behaviour returns to normal.

Australian Saltwater Crocodiles are extremely territorial, even compared to other crocodilians. Both males and females establish territories and they rarely tolerate intruders for very long. In the above photograph, a male had ventured into the small territory established by a female whilst defending her nest. She reacted aggressively, defending her genetic investment, and instead was attacked by the larger and stronger male - she came off second best. The male holds the female's head in a vice-like clamp between his jaws, his teeth penetrating her skull just in front of her ear and immediately in front of her eye. From this position, he is quite capable of killing her with a vigorous twist of his head. Fortunately, the male relaxed his grip and moved away, leaving the female alive but battered.

The female will remain around her nest for over two months, without food, waiting for the small, chirping hatching calls which are a signal for her to begin excavating her young from their mound. Without the female, the young are usually trapped within the nest which becomes hardened through exposure to the tropical heat. The problems faced by the female guarding the nest, however, are nothing compared to what is to come for the juveniles in their struggle to survive.


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