Crocodiles are reptiles, which means they are cold-blooded, covered in dry, scaly skin, and have bone-crushing jaws and teeth. Unlike alligators, crocodiles have very pointed snouts, and their upper and lower jaws are the same size. Crocodiles have strong tails and webbed feet (webbed fingers), which help them swim faster. These fearsome creatures are known as “living fossils” because their existence dates back to the time of the dinosaurs.
- The size of a crocodile depends on its species, but some, like the saltwater crocodile, can grow to more than 23 feet (7 meters) long and weigh more than 2,500 pounds.
- Crocodiles need to live in areas with bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and swamps.
- The marine or saltwater crocodile is the largest crocodile in the world and the largest reptile on the planet.
- Since they are cold-blooded, their body temperature will change with the temperature around them, so the crocodile must live in warm areas. Crocodiles are found in the tropics of Africa, Asia, America and Australia.
- Crocodiles lack sweat glands, therefore they cannot sweat. To get rid of the heat they stay for hours with their mouths open.
- Crocodiles feed on animals such as fish, frogs, birds, and reptiles. Some species of crocodiles hunt large animals such as deer, wild boar, buffalo and even giraffes. Generally, they wait quietly for their victims to come to shore to drink water before attacking.
- These animals have the strongest bite in the animal world. The muscles that allow the jaw to close are much stronger than the muscles that open the jaw. Because of this, people can use their hands to keep a crocodile’s mouth shut.
- Have you ever heard the phrase “crocodile tears”? This expression is often used to describe false sadness. It turns out that crocodiles do cry, but not because of feeling, but because, while eating, they swallow too much air, which comes into contact with the lacrimal glands (glands that produce tears) forcing the tears to flow.
- Crocodile females lay 20-100 eggs depending on the species.
- Most crocodiles live 40-60 years in the wild. Some crocodiles can live more than 80 years.