How Do Crocodiles Mate?

How Do Crocodiles Mate?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 07/01/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Crocodiles are the world’s largest reptiles that inhabit tropical regions of Australia.

Crocodiles are fascinating and, to some, scary creatures found in parts of the Northern Territory. The breeding season for crocs spans from November to May, coinciding with the wet season. Female saltwater crocodiles typically reach maturity around 12 years of age, while males mature at about 16.

How do crocodiles reproduce

The male saltwater crocodiles will mate with multiple female crocs throughout the season.

The process begins with various behavioural interactions, such as snout rubbing and submissive displays. Once mutually satisfied, the male mounts the female, wrapping his tail and back legs around her. Mating occurs in water, where both male and female can be seen intertwined, submerging and resurfacing.

Nesting

During nesting, females construct nests from surrounding vegetation, becoming highly territorial. They lay approximately 40 to 60 eggs, which they incubate for about 75 days. The temperature during incubation determines the sex of the hatchlings.

Hatching

When it’s time to hatch, the hatchlings use their egg tooth, a piece of tough skin on their nose, to break open the eggshell. If any hatchlings struggle, the female assists by gently squeezing them between her jaws. She also consumes any dead or infertile eggs.

Hatchlings measure around 20 to 25 centimetres and quickly become agile.

Where To See Crocodiles

Crocodiles can be observed throughout the Top End, from Darwin to Litchfield and Kakadu, inhabiting various waterways. While you might encounter them in the wild, there are safer places where you can observe these large reptiles.

– Crocosaurus Cove

Located in the heart of Darwin city, Crocosaurus Cove offers visitors a great opportunity to see these iconic creatures. Crocosaurus Cove is the largest Australian reptile display in the world and the only place in Australia where you can do a crocodile dive.

– Crocodylus Park

Just a 15 minute drive from the city, Crocodylus Park has a lot of crocodiles of all different maturities. The wildlife park features a variety of other wildlife but specialises in crocodiles. Visitors can learn more about crocs, witness their impressive size, and have the chance to hold a baby croc!

– Jumping Crocodile Cruise

The Jumping Crocodile Cruise is a popular activity in the Northern Territory. Located along the Adelaide River, about an hour’s drive from Darwin, this cruise takes you down the river to spot crocodiles. Guides provide bait to lure the crocs, demonstrating their jumping ability as they leap out of the water to grab the treat. Though crocodiles aren’t jumping, they use the force of their tails to propel themselves upwards!

As a reminder, it’s important to be croc wise in the tropical parts of Australia where crocodiles are present. Exercise caution around waterways, especially during the wet season when they are more active. You can safely observe crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove, Crocodylus Park, and on the Jumping Crocodile Cruise.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.