Crocodile

Category: Wildlife

The crocodile is a large reptile that can be found in Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, South America and Central America. There are 14 species of crocodile. While the crocodile is similar in appearance to the alligator, the two are not related. The crocodile is known for its strong predatory skills, aggressive behavior, strong jaws and very long life span.

Crocodile

Crocodile

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Reptilia

Order - Crocodilia

Family - Crocodylidae

Subfamily - Crocodylinae

Genera - Crocodylus (12 species), Mecistops (Slender-snouted Crocodile), Osteolaemus (Dwarf Crocodile)

Common Name - Crocodile

Characteristics

The crocodile is a very large reptile. It has a v-shaped head, and all of its teeth are visible when its jaws are closed. The crocodile typically inhabits fresh water, but it can also rarely be found in bodies of saltwater. It subsists on fish, reptiles, birds, mammals and crustaceans and is a very fierce hunter, known for its highly aggressive temperament. While the crocodile is sometimes confused with the alligator, the two are not related. There are several methods to distinguish the two, but the easiest is to compare the jaws; the alligator's teeth are not visible when its mouth is closed. The crocodile has 80 teeth and is able to replace these teeth around 50 times over his lifespan.

Breeding

The female crocodile

 lays 7 to 95 eggs at a time. The incubation period lasts from 65 to 95 days.

Behavior

The crocodile is a very aggressive hunter and will attack other animals that enter its chosen territory. It is a carnivore and lives on fish, reptiles, birds, mammals and crustaceans, and it has a lifespan of 70 to 100 years in the wild, with 70 being the average age for this reptile.

History

The crocodile has been in existence for at least 55 million years. The first written records and studies on this reptile were done in 1768.

Present Status

There are 14 species of crocodile; most of these are critically endangered and are at high risk for extinction. Many efforts are being made to preserve all 14 species of crocodile, and strict laws have been put in place governing the capture, import and export of the crocodile.