Caught on Camera: Crocodile Breaks Shell of Sea Turtle in a Snap


A park ranger caught on camera some scenes of a saltwater crocodile breaking the shell of a dead sea turtle before eating it.

An Olive Ridley sea turtle was washed over to a Northern Territory beach in Australia a couple of weeks ago. The turtle may have died inside a fishing net.

Dani Best, a park ranger at Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula, found the dead turtle, freed it from the net then left it on the beach, which was in view of a monitoring camera.

The camera captured images of a number of predators that approached the dead turtle, but none could break open the hard shell. However, a saltwater crocodile emerged from the sea and took a bite at the dead turtle. Soon, the shell broke and the crocodile ate the dead creature.

The crocodile left leaving bits of the turtle's shell scattered on the beach.

Scientists believe that saltwater crocodiles possess the most powerful bite similar to that of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The jaws of the saltwater crocodile can shut with an enormous bite force of 3,700 pounds per square inch, which is about four times more powerful than a lion's and 25 times more powerful than a human's.

"No other animal on the planet has a comparable bite force to a crocodile," said Graham Webb, owner of Crocodylus Park.

Saltwater crocodiles are the largest reptiles living on Earth. A full-grown male saltwater crocodile can measure up to 23 feet or seven meters long and weigh up to 2,200 lbs.

Reports suggest that saltwater crocodiles are a nuisance in northern Australia since they attack humans often. Saltwater crocodiles are said to be responsible for 99 attacks from 1971 to 2013. About 25 percent of the victims died and many suffered serious injuries. The rate of saltwater crocodile attacks has also increased in the past few years.

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