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Interesting Animal Facts: Crocodiles

With a reputation of being a fierce predator on land and water, the crocodile is known for its sharp teeth and sometimes menacing grin as they sit by the edge of the water. In this article, you will learn what a crocodile ingests as a way to aid their swimming, as well as one of the ways a mother crocodile protects her young.

Crocodiles

It’s not uncommon to find an array of food items swirling in the stomach of a crocodile. Meals usually consist of fish, turtles, birds, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, and in some cases of territorial dispute , their own kind. Upon further investigation, researchers have found that crocodiles also ingest rocks. Why? It seems that the reptiles swallow the large stones to permanently fill their bellies with a counterweight that helps them with their swimming and diving. For more trivia on crocodiles, consider the following facts:

10 Crocodile Facts

1.    Since crocodiles do not possess sweat glands, they release heat through their mouth cavities. It is not uncommon to see a croc panting like a dog.

2.    The best way to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile is by taking a look at their teeth. When alligators close their mouths, all of their teeth neatly fit inside and none are exposed. However, when a crocodile closes its mouth one tooth is exposed on each side.

3.    Between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, crocodiles reach their sexual maturity. A female can lay 20 to 90 eggs at one time , no larger than the size of a goose egg. After 90 days have passed, the eggs are ready to hatch.

4.    The largest crocodile is the saltwater crocodile (reaching lengths of 20 feet or more), where the smallest crocodile is called the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman , only making it to a little over 5 feet in length.

5.    If you see a croc on the riverbank with its mouth wide open, don’t worry , this is not an aggressive gesture. It’s just the crocodile’s way of cooling off since they sweat through the mouth.

6.    When baby crocodiles come into harm’s way, the adult female will pick them up and flip them into her mouth or a pouch located in the throat (called the gular) for protection.

7.    Nile crocodiles serve a significant ecological purpose, as they help the environment by keeping the population of barbel catfish under control. Barbels eat the fish that more than 40 species of birds need to survive.

8.    Crocodiles are found all over the world in Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia , dwelling in grassy swamps and slow-moving rivers.

9.    While a crocodile usually looks like it is lazily lounging about the riverbank, don’t underestimate this creature. Crocs can swim up to 20 miles per hour and run on land up to 11 miles per hour across short distances.

10.    Lining a crocodile jaw is 24 sharp teeth that grasp and crush, but do not chew. Throughout its lifetime, teeth are continuously replaced , allowing the bite force of a crocodile to reach more than 5,000 pounds per square inch.

Source: Life Science