Crocodile Species

Crocodile Species Facts, Types, Diet, Habitat, Lifespan, Reproduction, Scientific name and many other interesting facts about Crocodiles are discussed here.

What is a Crocodile?

Crocodiles belong to the subfamily of Crocodylinae are large aquatic Reptiles that found in Africa, Asia, America and Australia. All members of Crocodylinae are considered true crocodiles, is classified as the biological subfamily. The term crocodile apply to only the species within the subfamily of crocodylinae. The Alligators and gharians are looks so similar but they have the different biological families. Crocodile size, morphology, ecology and behavior make it differ from other species.

Crocodile

Crocodile has the 23 species which is generally large, amphibious, and ponderous animals that look like lizard and carnivorous habit belong to the reptile order crocodylia. Crocodiles have the powerful jaws with number of conical teeth and short legs with clawed, webbed toes. They have the unique formation for their body that allows the ears, eyes, and nostrils to be on the water surface while most of the animals have the hidden below. The tail of the crocodile is massive and long, and the skin is plated and thick as its do not have the fur or feather on their body.

Crocodiles are the live examples of the dinosaurs (yet the after too much evolutions) like reptiles of prehistoric times and it is now nearest living relatives of the birds. A large variety of the crocodilian fossils have been discovered before 200 million years. Fossil have the proofs that suggests three major radiations occurred. Four suborders of crocodiles will able to survive to the modern times. The order crocodylia includes the true crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gavials.

Scientific Name of Crocodile : Crocodylinae

Crocodiles are one of the few reptiles which have the four-chambered heart like mammals. ‘Crocodylinae’ is the scientific name of crocodile. The species is surviving from the age of the dinosaurs to the modern times. The crocodiles are the members of the reptiles’ category. Yet it is different from the alligators and the gharians. The appearance is so similar to the lizards.

Crocodile Habitat

There are only few places where you can find the crocodiles. The first place you can easily see the crocodiles is wild. Crocodiles can easily found in the extremely warm places due to they need to maintain the temperature in their bodies. This includes Africa, Asia, Australia, and other parts of the United States. They will enter in the water intermittently to cool down their bodies and drink it to maintain the hydration level in their bodies.

Crocodile diet

They can survive for long time without consume the water. When they didn’t find the water round them, they just roll on the surface to stick the mud or sand on their body to cool. You can find the in the different types of the water around the earth. This includes rivers, lakes, and wetland, lagoons where the humidity level is more and even small pools of water which fills during the rainy season.

 Crocodiles are also able to survive in the salt water which is the best place for the few species of the crocodiles. However, other reptiles such as alligators aren’t able to live in the salt water. This can be reason that the crocodiles have the salt glands in the mouth. This helps them to get the nutrients from the water and get the salt found in it. As long as their basic need fulfill from the given area, they will live and then they will move. Here are the few natural habitats for the crocodiles:

  • Warm Weather
  • Burrow Habitat
  • Nesting Habitat
  • Habitat Threatened

Types of Crocodiles

Crocodiles have the distance relationship with the reptiles from the prehistoric years. It is the fine evolution of the few species of the dinosaurs. The crocodiles have the 23 species which are found across the world. The species adapt the environment while development in the regions across the world. The crocodiles are divided into the three categories which are Alligatoridae, crocodylidae, and gavialidae. Each category has the different species of the crocodiles which comes from the different regions.

  • American Alligator
  • Chinese Alligator
  • Spectacled Caiman
  • Broad-Snouted Caiman
  • Jacare Caiman
  • Black Caiman
  • Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman
  • Schneider’s Dwarf Caiman
  • American Crocodile
  • Slender-Snouted Crocodile
  • Orinoco Crocodile
  • Australian Freshwater Crocodile
  • Philippine Crocodile
  • Morelet’s Crocodile
  • Nile Crocodile
  • New Guinea Crocodile
  • Mugger
  • Estuarine Crocodile
  • Cuban Crocodile
  • Siamese Crocodile
  • African Dwarf Crocodile
  • False Gharial
  • Indian Gharial

Crocodile species

Crocodile Species

Alligatoridae

  • Alligator Mississippiensis – American Alligator
  • Alligator Sinensis – Chinese Alligator
  • Caiman Crocodilus – Spectacled Caiman
  • Caiman Latirostris – Broad Snouted Caiman
  • Caiman Yacare – Jacaré Caiman
  • Melanosuchus Niger – Black Caiman
  • Paleosuchus Palpebrosus – Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman
  • Paleosuchus Trigonatus – Schneider’s Dwarf Caiman

Crocodylidae

  • Crocodylus Acutus – American Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Cataphractus – Slender Snouted Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Intermedius – Orinoco Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Johnstoni – Australian Freshwater Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Mindorensis – Philippine Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Moreletii – Morelet’s Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Niloticus – Nile Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Novaeguineae – New Guinea Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Palustris – Mugger
  • Crocodylus Porosus – Estuarine Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Rhombifer – Cuban Crocodile
  • Crocodylus Siamensis – Siamese Crocodile
  • Osteolaemus Tetraspis – African Dwarf Crocodile
  • Tomistoma Schlegelii – False Gharial

Gavialidae

  • Gavialis Gangeticus – Indian Gharial

Crocodile Diet :  What Do Crocodile Eat

You can’t imagine after look at the size of the crocodiles in the wild. Crocodiles are comfortable to eat wide range of the different animals from large ungulates and medium size of birds to even small lizards is the food in the wild areas. Crocodiles spend their lot of time in water and they are equally capable to hunt on the land as well. They wait for the right moment to strike on a prey, so, they are well known as the sit-and-wait predators. They can remain motionless in the water while concentrating on their prey almost all time.

While lions rule the land, the crocodiles are on the top list of its food chain in the water. They are such motionless in the water as the marine animals didn’t feel their large bodies in the water. It is the amazing ability that helps them to chase down the animals on land make it more fearsome to many wild animals. Although crocodiles are extremely strong that they can easily kill large mammals, they prefer to prey medium size and small mammals.

The saltwater crocodiles have not so much options to eat. So, they feed almost anything that available in its natural habitat. Like a typically crocodile, the saltwater crocodile can survive for a long time with just little food. This means the success rate in hunting is fairly slow for the saltwater crocodiles.

Crocodile facts

Unlike the other crocodiles’ species, the American crocodile have the fish for the most part of their diet. They have the narrow and slender snout which is adaption of an animal that eats fish. Fish is not only the option for the American crocodiles as they can also eat other animals besides fish.

Interesting Crocodiles Facts

  • Dinosaurs and birds are the closest relatives of crocodiles.
  • From more than 240 million years, crocodiles live on the planet. They appeared on the same time when dinosaurs appeared.
  • Crocodiles have the different sizes. Saltwater crocodile is the largest crocodile species which can reach 13-18 feet in length and Dwarf Crocodile length reach up to only 5 feet.
  • Crocodiles are generally carnivores which have the 24 sharp teeth. It is used for killing birds, fish, and mammals.
  • Crocodiles don’t chew their food. They just tear apart flesh and swallow large pieces of meat. Also, they sometimes swallow the stones to faster grinding the food in their stomach.
  • It is a fact that crocodiles produce tears when they eat. They don’t feel sorry or guilty for the prey. It is because of the swallow of too air which gets in touch with lachrymal glands and forces tears to flow.
  • They have the strongest bites in the animal world. The crocodiles have the muscles to closing jaws are stronger as compare to muscles used to open jaw. That’s why people able to close the mouth with bare hands.
  • Crocodile has the gentle skin on their belly side. Otherwise skin on their back is too tough as the bulletproof.
  • Crocodiles have the excellent eyesight especially at the night. Their eyes can be seen as the red dots while surfing on the water surface in night.
  • Crocodiles and alligators are not same. The crocodiles have the v shaped jaw when fully closed however the alligators have the u shaped jaws when closed.
  • Crocodile reproduce in the monsoon season. Female crocs lay 20-80 eggs and take care of it about 3 months.
  • Gender of the baby croc depends on the nest temperature.
  • 99% of crocodiles babies will be eaten in the first year of their life by the hyenas, large fish, monitor lizards, and larger crocodiles.
  • Most of the crocodiles live 50-60 years in the wild. Some species of crocodile can live more than 80 years.

Crocodile Lifespan : How long does Crocodile Live

The young crocodiles come out from the eggs that lay the female crocodiles after mating in the monsoon season. After emerges from the eggs, it has the length of 20-30cm only. In the earlier years after the birth, it live with the siblings at the edge of the water habitat to prevent became the hunt for various predators. They have the danger from the large fishes and birds but the larger crocodiles also can prey the young ones. In the first three or four years, the length of the young increases up to 30 cm (about 1 foot) per year. Then, the growth rate will be gradually slow down but the growth can continue throughout life. About at the age 10, the crocodiles get the sex maturity and the body length will increases up to 5-10 feet.

Crocodiles have the different lifespan due the habitat and also, the species also matters. Generally, it can reaches at the age of 70 years or more, but living in the wild have poor statistics. Life span in the wild is based on the growth rates. A Nile crocodile or Salt water crocodile about 20 feet long can live up to 80 years or more. The alligators and caiman have an average life span between 40 to 60 years whereas the species ‘true crocodiles’ can live up to 50 to 75 years.

Is Crocodile a Reptile?

Yes, crocodiles are reptiles. They belong to the group known as crocodilians. Reptiles such as the alligator, caiman, and gharial are also comes in the group of crocodilians. Crocodiles are the large animals have the appearance like lizards with the short pair of legs. They have the long snouts and lizard type shape. They have the sharp teeth and scaly skin.

Is Crocodile an Amphibian?

No, the crocodiles are not amphibians. The main reason is that they don’t get birth in the water and do not have the soft eggs as other amphibians have. The crocodiles have the scaly skin while the amphibians have the wet and slimy skin. Crocodiles live near to the water as it is not the aquatic animal and spend their life in water. Other reasons is amphibians can breathe under the water using their gills until they develop lungs whereas the crocodiles have the lungs when they born.

Crocodile Reproduction

The mating season for the crocodiles usually begins in July or August. They will able for mating at the age of 8-10 years. Both sexes can be territorial as well as aggressive in nature during this time period. The females make sure that other females aren’t coming into the area to place the nest. They are very choosy when it comes to males they will mate with. All others will be driven out of their location forcefully if required. The males show the power and dominance with each other. The sand off can be go long for the several hours until one will turn back or walk away.

When a male ready to mate, he will attentively and carefully approach a female. To see the affection from the female, he will rub their body with the female body if she returned the affection or not. They may stay with other for the several days and mate again for number of times during this period.

Females will dig up to 10 feet to secure their lay eggs to prevent these from predators. It takes about 80-100 days to come out the young ones from the eggs. The crocodiles don’t have the chromosomes in the genes to create the male and females while reproduction. Instead, the temperature around the lay eggs will determine the gender of the young ones.

Get More Interesting Reptile Facts and other Interesting Facts