Crocodile Couple Who Have Been Together Over a Decade Snapped Holding Hands

A crocodile couple in Australia who have been together for over a decade have been snapped holding hands.

The reptiles were pictured by David White, who owns Solar Whisper Daintree River Crocodile and Wildlife Cruises, which operates in the Daintree River in Far North Queensland.

The two crocodiles, known as Dusty-rose and Scarface, are often seen like this, White told Newsweek.

"They are my favorite couple and have been together over a decade. If you look very closely you can see them holding hands, they remained like this for most of the day," he said.

Crocodiles
The two crocodiles pictured have been together for decades. White said this behavior is not uncommon. Solar Whisper Daintree River Crocodile & Wildlife Cruises

Saltwater crocodiles live along the coasts and water systems of Australia. They have an infamous reputation for being aggressive, and can grow up to 20 feet in length and can weigh over 2,200 pounds.

Scarface in particular is well known in the area for his fearsome appearance. The 14.5-foot-long crocodile has many scars on his face, and is often seen lurking in the river.

Despite being predators, crocodiles are sometimes observed displaying their softer side. The ancient reptiles are highly intelligent and socially complex, and evidence suggests they are also capable of forming strong bonds with one another.

White, who observes the species regularly on his tours, said that this tender behavior between the two crocodiles is actually very common.

"Like us, touch is used in communication with your partner and forming a bond. It feels good and they love each other. Though we can't know for sure as we can't ask them, we can only ever make educated guesses based on observations. And I have observed so many times male and females touching," White said. "[...]Our understanding of the social interactions of crocodiles is still in its infancy, they are a difficult creature to study, they are incredibly secretive, dangerous and outlive their researchers . But what we do know is that they have extremely complex social behavior and that they have multimodal communication [...] Most people don't think of a crocodiles external coating as being sensitive, in fact their rough scaly skin adds to their reputation of being fierce mean reptiles."

White said that research shows a crocodile's skin to be "ultra sensitive." These sensory organs are also used when the species hunt for prey in water with poor visibility.

"In humans we largely depend on the use of language to communicate, however touch is also a major component and can affect our emotional and physical health. One of the primary reasons for touch is to demonstrate compassion or love," White said. "Though crocs have a fierce reputation they are also affectionate animals, they are the most maternal of all reptiles and the most socially complex. I have observed over 25 years of watching these creatures in the wild, their use of touch in the courtship process. Not just when mating but for months before when they lay together. It cannot be a random act as so many times they move close to each other so that they are touching."