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Always smile at a crocodile


Painting of Queen Lizzie of the Daintree, celebrating all crocodiles in ink, gouache and watercolour mounted on wood and waxed. 50x50cm framed in black.

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Queen Lizzie the crocodile


Hunted to near extinction, crocodiles are now slowly recovering in north Queensland. Human advocates are trying to help people understand these amazing animals and avoid conflict by helping us all become crocodile wise in croc country. We were lucky enough to see crocodiles on the Daintree River. Admittedly we also saw a fair few loggodiles…

We met Dave of Solar Whisper (www.solarwhisper.com), who helped us understand more about these incredible animals. The queen crocodile of that stretch of the river was Lizzie and sadly we heard she had died shortly after we left. For once it seems humans were not to blame, but a new male trying to take over the territory. She was apparently a devoted mother so this painting celebrates her life and the eggs she laid and hatched. This painting is done to celebrate her life and off spring, using the wonderful ink resist technique. The painting is then mounted onto a birch wood panel and waxed to give it a gorgeous deep sheen.

Reaching lengths of more than 23 feet (6.5 m) and weights of over 2,200 pounds (~1,000 kilos), the saltwater crocodile is the largest reptile on the planet and is a formidable predator throughout its range. Saltwater crocodiles of this size are capable of eating just about any animal that strays too close and are particularly adept at drowning terrestrial creatures like birds and mammals.

Though crocodiles and their relatives have a negative reputation among people, most species are relatively harmless and would rather avoid people rather than confront them. Conflict arises through humans encroaching into their territory.

1. Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodile species in the world, and the largest living reptile in the world.

2. Male saltwater crocodiles have been recorded at lengths of 23 feet (7 m) and weights of 2,205 pounds (1,000 kg). Females are much smaller, growing to be about 10 feet (3 m) long and weighing 330 pounds (150 kg).

3. Adult saltwater crocodiles have 66 teeth on average and the greatest bite pressure of any animal in the world.

4. Saltwater crocodiles are most commonly found in coastal waters or rivers where they can swim between freshwater and brackish water.

5. Saltwater crocodiles can live more than 70 years.

6. Saltwater crocodiles are opportunistic feeders that prey on a variety of species, from crabs and fish to birds, turtles, pigs, buffalo and even humans.1

7. Saltwater crocodiles communicate using several sounds, including barking, hissing, growling and chirps.2