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Wilderness Environ Med. 2005 Fall;16(3):143-59.

Crocodile attack in Australia: an analysis of its incidence and review of the pathology and management of crocodilian attacks in general.

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Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.


Crocodilians represent one of the oldest constant animal lineages on the planet, in no small part due to their formidable array of predatory adaptations. As both human and crocodilian populations expand, they increasingly encroach on each others' territories, bringing morbidity and mortality to both populations. In this article, the medical and herpetologic literature pertaining to injuries caused by crocodilians is reviewed, and the patterns of saltwater crocodile attacks in Australia from 1971 to 2004 are analyzed. In this review, we examine the features of crocodilians that contribute to explaining their evolutionary success, as well as the potential hazard they pose to humans. Only by understanding their capabilities is it possible to mitigate the potential threat to life and limb.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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