Animal Diaries Archive
7 January 2005Crocs have large penetrating teeth designed for puncturing through the tough leathery hides of mammals such as pigs, kangaroos, dingoes, and even water buffalo. They are perfectly designed to grip and hold struggling animals and backed by three thousand pounds per square inch closing jaw pressure. They can smash through bone like you and I eat toast at breakfast time! This is all fantastic for getting a feed but how do crocs take a whole food source and turn it into bit sized chunks? The answer is … by death rolling. The death roll is one of the most powerful and awe-inspiring sights in the natural world.
Crocs begin this procedure by tenderising their food. They repetitively open and close their massive jaws on a food idem. Getting a firm grip, they tuck their legs close to their body and spin their massive bulk around and around sending water flying in all directions. The end result is a mouth-sized piece of food being ripped off the captured animal. Great stuff... unless you are that animal being death rolled!
At Australia Zoo we encourage natural behaviors, and recently we have been giving our larger crocs large food items so as they can death roll, and head shake just like they would in the wild. This not only stimulates the crocs by giving them the feeling of making a kill, but also shows people coming to the Zoo exactly why they need to admire these magnificent animals from a distance.
Our Amazing Saltwater Crocodiles
The saltwater crocodile, also known as the estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles. This apex predator is formidable, opportu ...more
On display in the Crocoseum