Feeding behavior of captive juvenile Crocodillus porosus
Cuijk, Y. van
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In the crocodile farming industry certain juvenile crocodiles stay behind in growth. Previous research has shown that although temperature, type of food, feeding frequency, stocking density and animal size are of influence on growth, they do not contribute to differences in animals within a group. In this study a start was made to investigate the ethological aspects of fitness in captive juvenile crocodillus porosus. On an Australian crocodile farm two groups of juvenile crocodiles were monitored 24 hours per day for seven days, ethograms of the groups were composed. Their fitness was determined using three measures: Head length, Body length and weight. The time in which the animals finished their food was assessed. The amount of mouthfuls of food taken was monitored during the trial and showed an increase every day. Interesting piecks in feeding behavior during the day were seen and different kinds of feeding behavior were monitored. Other interesting behaviors were observed. A small trial was performed to determine the best marking method for juvenile crocodiles, no suitable method was found. The results of this study pose interesting questions for further research and most of all show the possibilities and challenges of performing research on juvenile Saltwater crocodiles.