A far north Queensland fisherman has captured rare footage of a huge saltwater crocodile porpoising in and out of the water ― much like a dolphin.
Queensland fisherman Alec Dunn on Monday was checking his crab pots on the Bloomfield River, about four hours north of Cairns, when he filmed the four-and-a-half-metre crocodile gliding in the murky water and seemingly blowing water out of its nose while racing his boat.
Dunn said the croc, known as Tommy, was lurking under his tinny, a small fishing boat, before it got boisterous.
“He came up with this growl and locked eyes with me. I was only in a 3.5-metre tinny and he cruised right next to me. It was interesting,” he told the Cairns Post.
“He was sizing me up and I thought he was going to go for the tinny, but lucky he didn’t.”
The video was posted on Back 2 Basics ― Adventures Facebook page on Tuesday and has been shared more than 24,000 times. Many of those who commented at first thought the video was fake.
“Is this a joke...? Since when do crocodiles play dolphin and since when are crocodiles wider than cows? I’m not ok with this video,” posted one user.
“They sure do have weird-looking dolphins over there,” wrote another.
Daintree River crocodile guide David White, who works for Solar Whisper Tours, said Tommy was “hormonal and angry”.
“I’ve seen them swimming that fast before but not going up and down like that. It’s a bit unusual,” he told HuffPost Australia.
“Most of the time they lie around doing nothing but if there’s another male croc around ... and their hormone levels are getting higher, they do get angry and they fight,” he added.
While the Australian saltwater crocodile can swim up to 29 km/h, White said Dunn’s terrifying footage is rare.
“They usually only launch about 20 or 30 meters and then they’re totally exhausted. They tire easily and save their energy for a big burst. They usually can’t keep up that fast speed for very long like that.
“That was a big burst of energy. He does look a bit like a dolphin. There’s a lot of testosterone there.”
And those who still think the footage is fake?
“You’d have to be a Hollywood film editor to pull that off,” White chuckled.
See an example of a salty’s “power burst” below: