Crocodiles Surf Between Islands

Crocodiles are great swimmers over short distances in shallow water, but their habitats stretch across the oceans. How did they travel such great distances? Zoologists at the University of Queensland think that they have answer: crocodiles waited for good waves to appear, and then bodysurfed over them to offshore islands.

After collecting data for a year, the team found that, before journeys of six miles (ten kilometers) or more, the reptiles would make use of outgoing tides, riding the surface currents that sweep water toward the mouths of rivers.

If the currents changed, the crocs would climb onto river banks or sit on riverbeds, waiting until surfing conditions improved.

The researchers then reanalyzed existing data on crocodiles in the open ocean. Those crocs were doing the same thing, the data show—using currents to body surf for 60 miles (100 kilometers) or more.


Link | Photo (unrelated): NPS

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