BRISBANE, Australia, June 9 (UPI) — Estuarine crocodiles, long considered poor swimmers, are in fact accomplished “surfers,” Australian researchers say.
Both male and female crocodiles routinely travel more than 30 miles by “surfing” ocean and river currents and timing their voyages to the tides, USA Today reported Wednesday.
Researchers tagged 27 adult estuarine crocodiles with sonar transmitters and underwater receivers to track their movements, the newspaper said.
One tagged male was tracked by satellite and traveled 360 miles in 25 days, scientists said.
Estuarine crocodiles are the world’s largest reptiles, weighing up to 2,900 pounds and growing to 20 feet in length.
They live in rivers, mangrove swamps and estuaries and do not venture far from land, source of their food and water.
Researchers say they believe the ability to surf ocean currents accounts for the species’ widespread presence throughout the southeast Pacific.
The crocodiles are found in East India, Sri Lanka, southern China, Thailand, the Philippines, northern Australia and many South Pacific islands.
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