Nile Crocodile facts
Nile Crocodile facts
The Nile crocodile is a powerful and crafty hunter with jaws gentile enough to carry their young. Living as long as 100 years they can weigh up to 2,178 lbs and grow to be 20 feet long. The Nile crocodile is a fearsome predator and is known as a man eater because it does not fear humans. A Nile crocodile will attack a human as readily as any other prey it sees without hesitation. The crocodile will kill up to 100 people each year. This article will discuss the habitat, feeding and hunting, breeding and behavior of this great reptile.
Nile crocodiles live in the open waters and rivers of Africa and Madagascar. They are found south of the Sahara and along the River Nile. However this reptile is capable of living in almost any body of water from a small swamp to the open waters of the Ocean. It can travel up to 15 miles to find water in times of drought for without water a Nile crocodile will die. During the rainy season baby crocodiles can live in rain puddles and move onto larger waters as they grow.
This reptile is famous for how it kills it's prey from small babies to full grown adult water buffalo's. There are four steps in this hunters style, approach, strike, drown and tear apart. Approach- the Nile crocodile is able to remain undetected with it's camouflaged body and sneak up on it's prey and waits patiently for the prey to walk closer
Strike- With super speed the crocodile can leap out of the water and grab ahold of either a leg or even the face of a drinking, unsuspecting prey and drag them into the water.
Drown- The crocodile, with it's surprising strength, will drag its prey into the deeper part of the water and hold it underwater until it drowns.
Tear apart- Once the prey is dead, the crocodile will spin around under water after grabbing the prey to tear off a chunk of meat. They do this because crocodiles cannot chew their food, they must 'swallow' its food whole.
The use of the word 'swallow' in the previous sentence isn't entirely correct for crocodiles can't really swallow their food. They have to tilt their heads back and let gravity slide the food down their throats. If a Nile crocodile is unable to finish it's food it will often store it's food under large rocks or fallen trees for later.
Did you know: Nile crocodiles can go a year without eating.
With as powerful as these jaws are on the Nile crocodile, they can also be gentile enough to carry baby crocodiles from their nests to the water. Males will mate with as many females as possible and this often causes bloody battles with other rival male crocodiles. Once they have mated during the dry season the female will dig a hole in the waters edge and lay her eggs. Once the rain starts during the rainy season the baby crocodiles hatch and make a chirping sound to let mamma know they are ready to come out. The mother crocodile will unearth her nest and break open any eggs that have babies still inside. She then scoops up her hatching's in her large jaws and carries them to the water where she will watch over them as their protector for up to 4 weeks.
Did you know: If the eggs are below 84 degrees all the babies will be female.
Nile crocodiles are reptiles and unlike birds or mammals, they can not regulate their body temperature naturally. They have to find ways to cool down or warm up, and one way they warm up is to sun bath in the morning on sand bars or the banks of the water. They cool down by opening their mouths wide allowing heat to escape their body. During this time they also will allow birds to pick pieces of meat out of their teeth kind of like mini dentists. They also look for shady spots or just crawl back into the water once they start to get too hot and need to cool down. During the colder months they will swim into deeper water where the water temperature is more constant.
These powerful creatures are fascinating and need to be respected. They hunt anything that comes in their territory and are not afraid of humans. They have also been revered as a God in the ancient Egyptian religion. The God Sobek is the God of the Nile, Army, military and fertility. With a Nile crocodile face and the body of a human he had a longstanding presence in the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt in 2686-2181 BCE.