Some interesting facts about crocodiles
The crocodiles are reptiles of the Crocodylidae family (which also includes, the alligators, caimans and the gharial). Crocodiles can be traced back to the Cretaceous period and the Triassic period.
in general, are animals of elongated body and tail, long snout with
which they show several sharp and conical teeth (usually 28 to 32
teeth in the upper jaw and 30-40 teeth in lower jaw). In crocodiles, the
snout is narrower in the end when compared to alligators, with the fourth tooth on each side of the
lower jaw visible when the mouth is closed.
All crocodiles are semi-aquatic animals (they spend a great deal of time in water, but also need to go to shore) which, depending on the species, can be found in rivers, estuaries, coastal regions or open sea. They swim, usually on the surface with eyes and nostrils above the water line and boost their body with the help of their very strong tail.
Crocodiles are carnivores, and among them, are big predators such as the Nile crocodile or the Saltwater crocodile. The Saltwater crocodile is the largest reptile alive, because it can reach 7 meters long and more than one tonne (1000 kg) in weight.
When juveniles they feed on small prey (insects, fish, frogs), but as they growing they start hunting prey ever larger, until the size of a large antelope or gazelle (watch the video).
Like other reptiles, crocodiles are endothermic (cold-blooded, or whose body temperature varies with the temperature of the environment) and, therefore, need to sunbathe, to raise the temperature of their body. If it is too hot, they prefer water or shade when available.
The crocodilians are oviparous (they reproduce by means of eggs that are deposited outside the womb) and are the only reptiles that exhibit true parental care. Thus, most of the crocodiles build nests, with heaps of soil or plant debris, the remaining species of crocodiles dig burrows on the banks of rivers or beaches. The female, in general, and sometimes the male remains nearby to protect the eggs from predators.
Before the hatching, the young will emit vocalizations (sounds), to which the mother responds by scooping the top of the nest to help them out the eggs and nest. Sometimes the female holds the newborn in her mouth and takes them to the water, protecting them afterwards sometimes for weeks or even months. At birth the young crocodiles will measure only about 20 centimeters and are very vulnerable to predators.
Man is the main enemy of crocodiles through the hunt for their skin to trade and the destruction of their natural habitat.
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