Animals were roaming the earth thousands of years before humans. These animals evolved and adapted themselves to the changing environment and developed some unique abilities. One such animal is the amazing crocodile. In this article, we will familiarize you with different kinds of crocodiles using a crocodile fact sheet. After reading this, you will find it easy to describe crocodile.
1. How can you Describe Crocodile?
Crocodiles or Crocodylidae are semi-aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, Australia, and America. Eighteen living species have been discovered of crocodiles while researchers are doing further studies to find other genetically related species. The word crocodile was derived from an Ancient Greek word krokodilos which means lizard as its shape can easily be related to describe crocodile. It was first used in the Greek phrase ho krokodilos tou potamou which meant the lizard of the Nile River. (See Go Dawgs Sic Em Meaning)
2. What are the Crocodile Fact Sheet Features?
- You can describe crocodile as a swift swimmer because of its streamlined body. They stuck their feet inside the water to increase their swimming speed.
- They have webbed feet like ducks which helps them turn, move around and catch their prey easily underwater. Sometimes they walk on river beds which is possible because of their webbed feet. (Also read Do Penguins Have Knees?)
- They are capable of living underwater because of a palatal flap at the back of their mouth. It is a layer of hard tissues stopping the entry of water inside their nose and mouth. Their nostrils close when they are underwater. They can hold their breath underwater for up to 1 hour.
- They have scaly skin on their back known as osteoderms. Their sides and bellies are smooth.
- There are dwarf crocodiles with a size of 4.9 to 6.2 feet (1.5 to 1.9 m) while their largest species are saltwater crocodiles reaching 23 feet (7 m) and weighing up to 1000 kg.
- It is correct to describe crocodile as polyphyodonts which mean their teeth keep on being replaced. Having a set of 80 teeth, they replace them about 50 times in their lifespan of 35 years to 75 years. (See What’s Bigger Crocodile Or Alligator?)
- Having the strongest bite among the kingdom Animalia still doesn’t help them in eating. It is because their jaw muscles cannot move so they are unable to chew their prey. Therefore, they hold their prey and roll with it to break it into pieces for easy swallowing. It is not because they pity their prey rather their eyes water because of excess hissing, rolling, and huffing while eating.
- Over a lifetime, crocodiles can have almost 4000 teeth because each tooth is replaced 50 times. Their jaw power or bite is the world’s strongest animal bite. They can apply 5000 pounds of pressure per square inch when they bite. However, the muscles for opening their jaw are not that strong and can be shut easily.
- They use their voice to communicate with each other. Young ones squeak and grunt while adults can hiss, growl and roar. They respond to the voices of engines, gunshots, and humans mimicking them. Their sleeping style is quite different because they sometimes sleep with one eye open.
- There are cases when they have eaten their younger ones. They are capable of hunting down an elephant, hippo, and other large mammals. Their digestive system is the most acidic, helping them digest these animals.
- Crocodiles often swallow small stones to help digestion as they swallow big pieces or even whole prey without chewing. They are nocturnal with excellent night vision and a great sense of smell. (See Do Sheep Sleep?)
3. What are some of Famous Kinds of Crocodiles?
- American crocodiles are large and their snout is V-shaped while their scaly skin is grey colored. Mostly found lying in brackish water, river, and other marine environments. They are found in the areas of the Caribbean basin, other Caribbean islands, and South Florida.
- Hall’s New Guinea crocodiles are found on the islands of New Guinea and towards the south of the New Guinea Highlands. They are smaller and distinct in the forms of their cranial system and head size.
- New Guinea crocodiles in the islands of New Guinea and northern New Guinea highlands are small-sized species of grey-brown color.
- Orinoco crocodiles are throughout Venezuela and Colombia. With a large-sized body, their snout is also elongated and they are pale tan. They have dark brown markings over their body.
- Freshwater crocodiles are common in Northern Australia and are relatively small in size with a large snout, light brown-colored body, and darker shades on the tail. Also, check out the 4 no stripe zebra facts.
- Philippine crocodiles reside in the Philippines and are also small-sized species with large snouts living in freshwater. They are critically endangered.
- Morelet crocodile belongs to the Atlantic regions of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. They can be small to medium in size. They are dark-grey-brown in color and are found in freshwater habitats.
- Nile crocodiles are found in sub-Saharan Africa. They are large and aggressive species with a broad snout. Found in freshwater and brackish water habitats, they are known as apex predators.
- Mugger crocodiles are native to the Indian sub-continent and countries nearby. They are modest-sized with broad snouts and have an alligator-like appearance. They live in lakes, slow-moving rivers, and swamps.
- Saltwater crocodiles are found throughout Northern Australia, Southeast Asia, and nearby areas. Known as the largest living reptile, they are the most aggressive of crocodile species.
- Borneo crocodiles are inhabitants of the Islands of Borneo, south-east Asia. They are known to be similar to saltwater crocodiles.
- Cuban crocodiles are found in Swamp, Zapata, and Isle of Youth in Cuba. They are small and aggressive with pebbled scales preferring terrestrial hunting. They are critically endangered.
- Siamese crocodiles are native to Indonesia, East Malaysia, southern Indo-China, and Brunel. Smaller in size, they are olive green colored with a relatively broad snout. They are also critically endangered.
- West African crocodiles are in Western and Central Africa.
- Osborn dwarf crocodiles found in Western Africa are the smallest but most dangerous species.
- West African slender-snouted crocodile is found in Western Africa and is critically endangered.
- Central African slender-snouted crocodiles found in watery areas in dense forests of Central Africa are medium-sized species. (Also read Who is the Fastest Swimmer?)
4. How can you Describe Crocodile as a Fast swimmer?
- It is appropriate to describe crocodile as a natural swimmer. They can run fast on land but it swims faster. On land, the average speed of a crocodile is 17 km per hour (11 mph). In water, they swim up to 35 km per hour (22 mph).
- As they run with their bellies, it is known as a belly run. During the belly crawl, speed ranges between 5 to 10 km per hour.
- They can gallop as fast as 18 km per hour. By following high walk motion, they can move at a speed of 2 to 4 km per hour.
- They use their tails as propellers and feet as rudders which helps them change direction. (Also read How Fast Are Crocodiles on Land?)
5. Where is the World’s Longest Crocodile?
In Agusan del Sur Province, the Philippines, the team of National Geographic found the world’s longest crocodile. It was 20.2 feet (6.17m) long and weighed 1075 kg (2370 lb). Here you can describe crocodile as a saltwater one named Lolong which was the largest ever crocodile that lived in captivity. (See What Animal has the Longest Pregnancy?)
6. Can they Attack Humans?
Crocodiles kill approx. 1000 humans every year. They have a strong metabolism that enables them to store energy from their food completely for future needs. When they do not have enough food, this stored energy can help them survive for almost a year. (Also read How Do Porcupines Attack?)
After knowing these amazing kinds of crocodiles and interesting facts from the crocodile fact sheet, it is time to show your expertise and describe crocodile to your friends. Surprise them with your knowledge about this age-old creature. (See 12 Catfish Whiskers Facts)