The Earth’s largest living crocodilian, the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), has some powerful specs to its name. Males can grow up to about 5 meters (16 feet) long and weigh in at 450 kilograms (1,000 pounds), but there have been sightings of the carnivorous reptile at 7 meters long (23 feet) and weighing 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds). This croc is an apex predator and is also known for having the strongest bite of any animal alive today.
Pit these crocs against each other and there will surely only be one victor. That's exactly what was witnessed by a load of Yellow Water Cruise passengers on Friday morning (June 13) in the Kakadu National Park, as Maxi – a 5-meter-long (16-foot-long) saltwater crocodile – strolled past with a 2-meter (6.5-foot) crocodile clamped firmly in his jaws.
“At first we thought they were fighting, but as we went around the corner a bit more you could see what had happened,” said Yellow Water Cruise's trainee guide Nikki Davies to The Advertiser. “Maxi had in his jaws the top jaw of the other croc. He’d just sunk his teeth into the brain and eyes which was horrible because we could still see it alive.”
This was quite a spectacular sight for Davies, especially as she’s only in the second week of her traineeship as a cruise guide. “I think it was about showing off who’s the boss in the area. Food sources aren’t scarce in Yellow Water, and a croc would be harder to ambush than a docile bird,” Davies continued. “This was definitely more to do with Maxi showing his dominance, and marking his territory.”
Maxi spotted at sunset, showing off his victory. Image Credit: Nikki Davies
This display of territorial supremacy was also a first for seasoned professional tour guide and Davies’ mentor Chad Grosenberg. “You normally see the crocs on the banks sunning themselves. You think they’re big and lazy,” said Grosenberg. “To see something like this gives you a new-found respect. You’re reminded a bit of what they can actually do.”
In the 1970s, saltwater crocodiles were hunted to near extinction in Australia. They are now a protected species.