Female crocodiles are the ones that make the nests out of sand, mud, and weeds. Nests are built on the water's edge and are really just shallow holes. These nests are only a few inches high. There are about twenty to ninety eggs in a nest, but most never hatch due to predators who eat the eggs.
An Aboriginal corporation based at Maningrida, Arnhem Land, is harvesting crocodile eggs as part of a sustainable but slightly dangerous enterprise that utilises wildlife.
The Baramunga Corporation was selling the eggs to crocodile farms, but now it is proving more profitable to incubate the eggs and sell the hatchlings.
The Northern Land Council says it is worth tens of thousands of dollars to the community, making the dangerous element of the job worthwhile.
Croc eggs are really different to birds eggs because the yolk inside is not suspended by two little tendons so the yolk settles to bottom of the egg and the embryo sits on the top of the egg. If the egg is rotated from the point to where it has been laid you run a really high risk of actually killing it so when you excavate you don't want to under excavate and get it to roll out of position.
Placing a pencil mark on top of the egg and removing it in exactly the same position to which it's been laid to take to the incubator is imperative for its survival.