An enormous reptile floats in the river, 17 feet of scales, teeth and claws. Normally, this would be a sight to strike terror into any observer, but this behemoth is eerily still. The creature is dead, an object now more worthy of pity than fear. What’s more, its death could lead to a lot of trouble in the future.
Apart from sharks, if there’s one predator that people never want to meet in the water it’s a crocodile, and in particular the saltwater variety. The reptile’s stealth, speed and merciless jaws are legendary. Saltwater crocodiles are known to prey on large animals like water buffalo and kangaroos. Just occasionally, human beings are on the menu, too.
Crocodiles have been around for millions of years and for good reason: they’re very well designed, both for their environment and for hunting down prey. The animals’ bodies are covered in tough, plated scales which form a kind of natural armor, while their feet are both webbed (to help them glide through the water) and clawed (so they can grip onto their victims).