The Australian fresh water crocodile is an inhabitant of the northern tropical part of Australia. It is a small, slender snouted species, living in lakes, rivers, streams, billabongs, and swamps. Competition and predation by the much larger salt water crocodile keeps it out of estuaries, coastal swamps, and brackish rivers. The fresh water crocodile is often called the "freshie" by Australians.
Boney plates under the belly skin make the leather of this species of poor quality. Couple this with its generally small size and strict conservation laws, and freshies are generally left alone. Habitat destruction, however, has taken its toll. The poisonous cane toad, a pest introduced by man, is likewise causing a decline of this crocodile.
The largest freshies can be Medium sized. They decrease in size the further upriver you go, so that upstream specimens are typically no more than Tiny. The freshie's narrow jaws give it a reduced jaw ST and lower biting damage, while it's bone-studded skin gives it increased belly protection. The fresh water crocodile can also gallop, allowing it to attain bursts of speed on land that other crocodiles cannot attain.
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