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Title : Facts about Crocodiles Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

· Crocodiles ambush their prey either in the water or on land. They are carnivores who eat fish, birds, mammals and even smaller crocodiles.

· Crocodiles (subfamily Crocodylinae) or true crocodiles are large aquatic tetrapods that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.

· The American crocodile is considered an endangered species in nearly all parts of its North, Central, and South American range.

· American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) are well-armored with tough, scaly skin. They are gray-green or olive-green with long, slender snouts, which distinguish them from their cousin, the alligator.

· Alligators and crocodiles are different. Some of the differences are the shape of the jaw and the placement of the teeth. Crocodiles can stand sea water. Alligators cannot.

· They are believed to be over 200 million years old (dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago so that’s really old).

·   The largest crocodile species is saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), encountered from India to northern Australia and Fiji. In can reach 7 m (23 ft.) in length and 1 tons in weight! At 5 m (17 ft.) length, it already has 0.5 tons.

The smallest crocodile is the dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) from central Africa, which has a maximum length of 1.9 m (6.5 ft.). It is more terrestrial than other crocodiles.

·  Crocodile skin purse can cost $ 15,000. The value of the crocodileskin has been fueling an intense poaching and today many of the 23 species of crocodiles and relatives are threatened, many populations being wiped out. The salvation of the crocodiles could come from the crocodile farms.

·   Crocodiles release heat through their mouths rather than through sweat glands.

·    Of over 20 different species of crocodiles, few are considered dangerous to humans.

·   Crocodiles swallow stones that help grind food inside their stomach. The stones may also be a way to help them balance.

· The muscles that open crocodiles jaws however are not so powerful, reasonably strong people could hold a crocodiles jaw closed with their bare hands.

· Crocodiles display increased aggressiveness during the mating season (linked to the monsoon).

·  The crocodiles have a four-chambered heart like in birds (their closest relatives) and mammals, for an active life. Still, when diving, the heart behaves like a three-chambered reptilian heart, enabling them to stay more underwater.

·  Crocodiles can swim just with the help of their powerful tail with 40 km (25 mi) per hour, and can stand underwater 2-3 hours. On land they can burst on short rapid races, but they get tired very quickly. They can also execute jumps out of the water, a several meters long.

·  Crocodiles have long, powerful tails that propel them when swimming.

·  Some crocodile species can weigh over 1200 kg (2600 lb.).

·  The crocodile eggs are appreciated by monitor lizards, hyenas, large storks and even... humans. A female lays 20-80 eggs which are incubated in a nest built from plant materials and defended by her for three months.

A farmed crocodile reaches 1.5 m (5 ft.) in length in just one year. In the wild, without such a constant food supply, it requires 3 years to reach the same length.

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