Crocodiles Can Surf: Scientists
Beasts use currents to travel vast stretches of ocean
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2010 2:14 PM CDT
Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), close-up of the eye through an aquarium glass. Thoiry Zoo.   (Wikimedia commons)

(Newser) – Crocodiles use their bodies as a sort of surfboard to travel vast distances on the open ocean, scientists have found. Researchers studying the territorial habits of the saltwater crocodile in Australia made the surprise discovery that the crocs, who are poor swimmers, used knowledge of river currents to ease their journey, LiveScience reports.

They fitted some with satellite trackers, and found that many crocs made trips of more than 30 miles regularly, out to the river mouth and even on to the ocean, where they traveled around a network of nearby islands. The animals are amazingly patient—one waited for four days in a sheltered bay for currents that would see him through a dangerous strait. Scientists still don't know why they make these long journeys, though some speculate their movements may give them access to migrating fish.