The crocodile is the living land animal in the world that has existed on earth for the longest time. Its history dates back more than 200 million years, and is thus a prehistoric specimen of splendor. Within the crocodile genus there are 14 species. They are cold-blooded and therefore live in warm tropical climates all over the world. When the crocodile is placed at the water’s edge with an open gap, it is to cool off, as crocodiles “sweat” through the mouth. In New Guinea, the crocodile is a role model, which is why there is a ritual for making scars in the skin so that it resembles crocodile-peeled skin.
Facts about the crocodile
|Location:||Central America, Central Africa, Southeast Asia and North Australia|
|Life expectancy:||50-70 years|
|Weight:||Up to 1000 kilos|
|Size:||Up to 7 meters|
|Food:||Fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds|
|Quantity:||Over 1 million|
|Fun fact:||The crocodile’s eyes work a bit like a pair of diving goggles. There is a membrane before the eyes that allows it to see well under water.|
There is a big difference between different crocodile species, which is why the crocodile can also vary in size. In general, the female is naturally smaller than the male. Some crocodile species become approx. 1.5 meters long, while the African Nile crocodile can grow over 5 meters long. The largest crocodile species is the saltwater crocodile, which grows over 6 meters. On a trip to Australia you may encounter this dangerous animal as one lives off the north coast of Australia and southern Asia and you can also experience it on a trip to Borneo . Crocodiles are easily confused with alligators because they are so similar to each other. However, it is possible to see the difference through their snouts. The snout of the alligator is u-shaped, while the snout of the crocodile is thinner and more v-shaped.
The characteristic of the crocodile is its long flat body, short legs, flat long tail and long large mouth. The crocodile’s sensory organs such as the nostrils, eyes and ears are tactically located on top of its head. So that all organs can be active even if the crocodile has most of its body covered in water. The crocodile can even breathe even when its mouth is full of water. It can, because a long passage separates the nostrils from the mouth. Therefore, when the crocodile dives, it also closes its nostrils to prevent it from drowning.
According to DigoPaul, the crocodile is a predator, but really a lazy one of its kind. It is known as the quiet hunter and thus waits for the prey to come close enough before attacking its prey at the right moment. Depending on the age and size of the crocodile, it eats everything from fish to amphibians to mammals of different sizes. It eats according to when it is hungry, and thus does not have a daily routine for when it eats. It mainly happens at night, however, while it rests during the day.
The crocodile’s mouth consists of between 40-80 teeth, which it produces throughout its life. They are located in the mouth of the crocodile, which has some eminently powerful jaws. The crocodile uses its power to hold its prey. The teeth are not used to chew, but instead to peel meat from the slaughtered animals. A crocodile can easily kill an antelope, or wildebeest. Crocodiles have even been seen taking up fights with elephants. Depending on the size of the animal, it is also different when the crocodile needs to eat again. If it eats a fish, it can go a day before the next meal, while if it has eaten an antelope, it can go a whole month without the need for food. It also means that the crocodile eats an average of 50 complete meals over the course of years. To help with digestion, the crocodile eats stones,
The crocodile is a reptile and like other reptiles it lays eggs. The crocodiles are sexually mature when they reach a length of approx. 2 meters depending on gender and species. It digs a large hole half a meter deep, in which between 15 and 50 eggs are laid, and then covered again with soil. Here they are incubated for approx. 3 months. The females are generally very caring during this period. They fit the nest, and do not move too far away from the nest, which is located close to the water. They are extremely aggressive to anyone approaching the nest, and develop almost to be a true killer. When it is time for the eggs to hatch, the young make a sound that the mother can hear. The female then digs up her young. The mother helps the young who do not hatch the egg themselves by rolling the egg between tongue and palate.
The sex of the young is determined in a very special way. It is the soil temperature that determines whether the baby develops into a male or a female. The female crocodile stays with its young for a total of 6 weeks, up to the first year of the young’s lifetime. The survival rate among the young is extremely low. The first year of life is a big threat to the kid. It is estimated that 99% of all crocodile fry are eaten by other animals within the first year. It is especially fish, herons, lizards and other (adult) crocodiles that pose a threat to the young. For the first 7 years of their lives, the young must be extremely careful as there is still a risk that other mammals will take them as prey.