Observations of mammalian feeding by Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) in the Kimberley region of Western Australia

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 3 years ago

ABSTRACT – The dietary preference of most crocodilians is generally thought to be fairly broad. However, the head morphology of slender-snouted crocodilians limits their ability to process large and complex prey. The slender-snouted Australian freshwater crocodile is known to be a dietary specialist consuming small aquatic prey, particularly aquatic arthropods and fish. Here, we report observations of predation events by Australian freshwater crocodiles on medium- and large-sized mammals in the Kimberley region of Western Australia including macropods, a large rodent and an echidna. We discuss the significance of our observations from an ecological and morphological perspective and propose that terrestrial mammalian prey may be a seasonally important prey item for some populations of freshwater crocodiles.

Author(s) Ruchira Somaweera, David Rhind, Stephen Reynolds, Carla Eisemberg, Tracy Sonneman and David Woods
Records 33 : Part 1
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