February 10, 2012

Crocodile Facts

  • The Nile crocodile is the world’s largest reptilian predator.

  • The Nile crocodile has over 60 teeth; if any fall out during attacks on its prey, a new one replaces it.

  • The muscles that close a crocodile's jaws are capable of generating enormous power, yet the muscles that open the jaws have little strength. Even a rubber band around the snout of a crocodile is sufficient to prevent it from opening its mouth.

  • The eyes, nose and ears are high up on the top of the skull, so that the crocodile can be almost completely submerged, yet still hear, see and breathe.

  • While submerged, a protective membrane closes over a crocodile's eyes - like swimming goggles.

  • Crocodiles have a very good sense of smell with large olfactory lobes in the brain.

  • Crocodiles are cold-blooded and rely on the temperature of the sun and water to warm up.

  • Crocodiles do not normally chase their prey - their typical hunting strategy is one of surprise, lunging at prey, and they are able to use the tail and powerful hind legs to spring out of the water.

  • Crocodiles only eat about fifty full meals a year and can go for long periods without eating; nesting females generally fast.

  • The female Nile crocodile is an attentive parent, guarding its nest of sixty eggs for the entire incubation period of ninety days and the hatched young for six weeks.

  • Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodilians on Earth. They are excellent swimmers, often spotted far out to sea, and can live for up to 70 years.

  • Crocodiles are the world’s most social reptiles, and Nile crocodiles sometimes hunt cooperatively.

  • The males are territorial, patrolling and defending a length of shoreline that may extend up to 50 meters (165 feet) out into the water.

  • Sometimes crocs die in bizarre circumstances – one was found dead with a large terrapin stuck in its throat.

  • A crocodile in a park in the Ukraine accidentally ate a mobile phone dropped by a visitor. It continued to ring inside the animal’s stomach!

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