Nile Crocodile

Scientific classification

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Reptilia

Order

Crocodylia

Family

Crocodylidae

Description

The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile species, whose distribution extends from the Nile Basin to the regions south of the Sahara desert to Madagascar and the Comoros archipelago. This species is one of the largest in the world (the largest crocodile is the saltwater one), it is quite dangerous to humans and was revered as a deity in ancient Egypt.

 

Like other species of crocodiles, the Nile crocodile is a carnivore, although its long mouth full of short sharp teeth is not exactly appropriate to devour meat and for this reason it carries its victim into the water and waits until the meat becomes tender.

 

The eggs of female Nile crocodiles are placed in nests in the sand and take 11 to 14 weeks to hatch. The eggs and little crocks are easy targets for predators, including other larger crocodiles. As is typical of the species, the Nile crocodile females are attentive mothers. They build large nests near water where the eggs are laid. They take care of the nest for two to three months until the little crocs leave the eggs and they care for their offspring in the first two years. In most of their life, crocodiles are solitary; large numbers of crocodiles are found near places where there is food, but without forming groups, which has a technical meaning in other species.

 

They inhabit freshwater or of low salinity, such as rivers and the lakes of sub-Saharan Africa. Among his many hunting techniques, they use the tail to trap fish or kill terrestrial prey, they ambush large animals and, with their jaws, they drag them under water or trap them under trees or rocks to drown them. Because they have difficulty in removing pieces of prey, crocodiles perform the “death roll” using the weight of their body to smash the flesh of their prey.

 

An adult crocodile of the Nile is an extremely strong and aggressive animal. Its thick skin protects it from any attack, with their eyes being the only weak point. Generally they live many years and their teeth and claws grow back if lost. They can also spend long periods under water and this ability increases with age. Another sophisticated feature is that they eyes have pupils that dilate at night, just like cats, allowing the crocodiles to see very well in the dark.

 

The Nile crocodile is hunted by Man due to the value of its leather, but is not an endangered species. Among its enemies is the elephant, as its paws can destroy any absent-minded crocodile in its path.