img
Reptiles

Nile Crocodile

Conservation status

Least Concern

Life span

70 - 100 years

Height

1.5 to 1.9 m

Length

3.5 m to 5.0 m

Weight

225 kg -750 kg

Native habitat

Rivers, freshwater marshes, and mangrove swamps in Sub-Saharan Africa

Diet

Carnivore

img
Crocodylinae

INTERESTING FACTS

Nile crocodile is the second largest reptile species in the world. Their body has well adapted to live in various types of aquatic habitat and these adaptations include a streamlined body with a long, powerful tail, webbed hind feet, and a long, narrow jaw. Also, they can submerge underwater by still keeping sensing acuity when hunting as their eyes, ears, and nostrils are located on the top of the head and this is a great adaptation as ambush predators. The diet of the Nile crocodile is mainly fish but as well as depends on reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates. They are going to eat whatever they can though – even animals much larger than them. They can take control of larger animals that way and then push their face under the water, so they drown. The “Death roll” is a technique used to kill their prey. They can normally eat up to half their body weight at a feeding. Crocodiles do not chew or break off prey into small pieces instead they crush it and swallow the whole prey. Nile crocodiles are cold-blooded and cannot generate their own heat. During colder months, they hibernate or go dormant. Crocodiles will also go dormant during long periods of drought. To create a place to hibernate, they dig out a burrow in the side of a riverbank or lake and settle in for a long sleep. 

CONSERVATION MESSAGE

Although they have declared as Least Concern by IUCN, they have many threats to be overcome to survive in the wild. Conflict with humans perhaps the greatest threat to the Nile crocodile. As large and potentially dangerous predators, people are often, understandably, intolerant of crocodiles, and deliberate destruction of nests and killing of adults is common. Crocodiles may also come into conflict with fishermen, damaging nets when trying to remove fish from them. Also, the crocodile is popular for its skins used to make high-quality leather, Habitat loss due to water pollution and Game hunting severely reduced their numbers. Many conservation strategies are in progress to protect crocodile populations in different regions including educating communities through environmental education to protect their natural habitat by reducing environmental pollution and Water pollution, improving the knowledge of wildlife, reducing the demand for skins, and encourage communities to maintain co-existence through best practices. 

img