Runtism and survival in captive saltwater crocodiles

The University of Sydney

  • Project code: PRJ-000550

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Thursday, September 1, 2005

  • Project completion date: Wednesday, December 24, 2008

  • National Priority: NAP-Provide new and developing animal industries with regular and up-to-date market assessments


New and Emerging Animal Industries

Research Organisation

The University of Sydney

Objective Summary

The major objective is to evaluate the specific risk factors associated with juvenile mortality in particular runtism and disease susceptibility within a genetic framework. This will help producers identify the main causes of juvenile mortality on their farms and determine whether mortalities are clutch-related year-related or more unlikely randomly occurring events. The major objective of the histopathology study is to examine the issue of runtism and attempt to observe any differences between ‘normal’ and ‘runt’ crocodiles. This will provide clues of why runtism occurs. Similar studies have been conducted in other crocodilians but not for saltwater crocodiles. Since this is an area of major profit loss within the Australian crocodile industrythis pilot histopathology study is of great importance.