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Nile Crocodile
Status Low Risk
Diet Carnivore
Habitat
Fame
To unlock the Nile crocodile in challenge or campaign games, you must earn a 1-1/2-star zoo fame rating for your zoo.

Description

  • Crocodile is the common name for any of a number of reptiles in a family of the crocodilian order. The term crocodilian refers to all members of the order, which includes alligators, caimans, and gavials as well as crocodiles.
  • One of the largest reptiles on the earth today, the crocodile is also one of the most ferocious. It swallows many small animals whole but will also attack humans and other large animals, often batting them with its tail into a nearby pool of water to make them easier to capture.
  • Crocodiles can close off their nasal passages in the water, allowing them to seize food without drowning. They are immensely strong and may dismember larger prey by simply twisting it to death in the water. The Nile crocodile, Crocodilus niloticus, is one of the best known of the 12 species of crocodile.
  • The Nile crocodile is the largest predator in Africa, growing up to 20 ft (6 m) in length and weighing up to a metric ton. It lurks around water holes and prowls rivers and canals in search of game, taking nearly any animal it can grasp, drown, and swallow, including humans. Found throughout subtropical and tropical Africa and Madagascar, adults are uniformly colored; juveniles are speckled. This crocodile was once numerous in the Nile and elsewhere, but its numbers have declined since World War II because of loss of habitat, hunting, and nesting-site disturbance by humans.
  • The Nile crocodile was revered by certain ancient Egyptian sects, and mummies of crocodiles have been discovered in Egyptian tombs. In modern times this species has been hunted so extensively that few individuals remain in the lower Nile, but they are still abundant in the upper Nile and southward in Africa to the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Crocodiles are physiologically the most advanced reptiles; their internal anatomy resembles that of birds. They have a four-chambered heart and well-developed senses. Cold-blooded like all reptiles - their body temperature depends on the environment - crocodilians bury themselves in mud to estivate or hibernate. In warm regions they are dormant during droughts; in colder regions, during winter.
  • Crocodile eggs are used for food in some parts of the world. The skin is highly valued for leather, and the extract from the musk glands is used in the manufacture of perfumes.

Fun Facts

  • When crocodiles relax with their mouths open, a small bird, the spur-winged plover, plays dental hygienist and picks food from between their teeth.
  • Crocodiles constantly shed and replace their teeth throughout their lifetimes.
  • Crocodiles have no sweat glands. They lose heat through their mouths, and sometimes pant like dogs to keep cool.
  • A baby crocodile breaks out of its egg using a special hard tip on its snout.
  • Crocodiles can close off their nasal passages in the water, allowing them to seize food without drowning.

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