Home Wild LifeReptiles Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) | Top Details, Characteristics & Amazing Facts

Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) | Top Details, Characteristics & Amazing Facts

by Nature Info

Introduction Of Crocodile

A crocodile, also known as a true crocodile, is any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae (or the subfamily Crocodylidae). The term can also be used more loosely to include all extant members of the order Crocodilia (which includes the Alligatoridae). Members of this group are characterized by their long snouts, laterally compressed tails, and scales on the lower half of their bodies.

Hybrid Crocodiles

Some species of crocodiles are known to interbreed. In areas where more than one species live together, they can hybridize. Hybridization has been recorded in the Nile and American crocodiles, although it is still considered rare in these species. The alligator snapping turtle is a well-known hybrid between a snapping turtle and a snapper; other examples include crocodylids with gharial or saltwater crocodile ancestry. There are also believed to be several hybrids between distinct populations of saltwater crocodiles.

 
crocodile

Diet and hunting

Crocodiles eat mainly fish, and they are ambush hunters. They lie still in wait for prey to come within striking distance. The crocodile then bites and holds its breath to drown its victim. Crocodiles also scavenge from carcasses of dead animals. 

Crocodiles breathe through their lungs but can go for quite a while without surfacing for air because they hold their breath underwater for about 40 minutes on average before having to surface to breathe again. When holding their breath, crocodiles close off their nostrils with valves that open automatically when submerged; otherwise, water would enter and cause suffocation.

Conservation status

Listed as vulnerable. The biggest threat to crocodiles is habitat destruction. A large portion of their natural habitat has been removed and replaced with human settlements. They are also hunted for their skin and meat, which has brought down wild populations in some areas of Africa. Fortunately, they are not threatened by any specific disease or parasites and very few attacks have been reported on humans throughout history. Even though they’re dangerous animals with a reputation for being aggressive and killing without warning, most of these stories are false or exaggerated. Attacks on humans happen very rarely but if you ever come face-to-face with one of these scaly 

Physical Characteristics

Crocodiles have very distinctive physical characteristics. Crocodiles are extremely large can grow to a length of 23 feet and weigh over 2,000 pounds. Crocodiles have a pointed snout which helps them catch prey in water that is murky. Their upper and lower jaws are lined with sharp teeth to help them catch and hold their prey once they have it in their grasp. 

Their back legs are longer than their front legs which allows them to lunge at prey that is far away from them in water. They use their tails for swimming as well as balancing when they walk on land. It has been estimated that crocodiles can move as fast as 15 miles per hour over short distances when they lunge at prey or if danger presents itself.

Behavioural patterns

In their natural habitat crocodiles are solitary creatures. They are also highly territorial and usually inhabit a fixed area, only occasionally traveling outside of their home territory. They will often return to a previously occupied location to bask in or hunt for food or reproduce. When they need to move on though they have been known to cover distances of up to 25km in a single night. 

This is especially true when it comes time for courtship and mating; it’s estimated that male crocodiles may travel as far as 100km to find a mate! It’s not uncommon for male crocodiles, in particular, to have multiple female partners at any given time either; with courtship rituals sometimes lasting up to six months!

Crocodile (1)

Incredible Facts

  • The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina is one of several protected habitats for crocodiles in the United States. 

  • The refuge also provides a safe environment for some endangered bird species. 

  • Crocodiles have an average lifespan of 50 to 80 years but can live to more than 100 years. 

  • They reach sexual maturity between 12 and 18 years and can produce eggs up to three times per year during the breeding season. 

  • A female crocodile will incubate her eggs by nesting over them and protecting them from environmental factors that could hurt or kill them while they develop inside her body. 

  • A newly hatched baby will remain with its mother until it reaches two or three years old; then it’s time for it to go out on its own as she will breed again once she has laid new eggs.

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