Crocodiles and Other Fauna of the Gulf of Carpentaria
The Gulf of Carpentaria harbours two species of crocodiles, Crocodylus
porosus (saltwater crocodile) and the relatively harmless freshwater variety.
The latter usually only bites when handled or cornered, and the bite although
nasty is rarely fatal.
Meet the original Crocodile Dundee: Donald
fossil was recently found in Lawn Hill Creek.
The gulf snapping turtle (Lavarackorum
elseya) has been identified as a denizen of the remote Lawn Hill Gorge
in the Gulf of Carpentaria Savannah. The find is of major international
significance as the turtle was believed to have become extinct due to massive
climatic change during the Pleistocene age. Previously the only evidence
of the ancient turtle was a single fossil found at Riversleigh.
This photograph is of a turtle
found in the Gorge in September 2001 near the Rainbow Serpent painting.
The specimen appeared to be dying as it made no effort to move when approached
very closely. Ants crawled over its head, and claw marks can be discerned
in the treetrunk to the left of the front right appendage. Another turtle
in fine condition was observed on the same day. (This is not to say that
these turtles were identified as snapping turtles.)
- Lawn Hill Gorge