African Nile Crocodile



The Nile crocodile is found throughout Africa. Large, lizard shaped reptile with four short legs and long muscular tail. The hide is rough and scaled.

Juvenile Nile crocodiles are dark olive to brown with darker crossbands on tail and body. Adults are uniformly dark with darker crossbands on tail. Crocodile found throughout tropical and southern Africa in rivers, freshwater marshes, estuaries, and mangrove swamps.

Family: Crocodylidae

Name: Crocodylus niloticus

Length: 2.5 to 5.5 m

Weight: up to 1000 kg or more.

Diet Description: up to 70% of the adult diet is fish. Other prey items may include zebras, hippos, porcupines, pangolins, and migrating wildebeest.

Sexual maturity: relates to size. Males are mature at about 10 feet, approximately 10 years of age, females at about 6.5 feet, approximately 10 years of age).

Incubation: females nest in November and December on sandy shorelines, dry stream beds, or riverbanks. A female can lay 25 to 100 eggs, which she covers with sand, then guards until they hatch 3 months later. When young crocodiles are hatching, either parent may help them out of the egg by rolling it between their tongue and palate. This cracks the shell allowing for an easier escape.

Life span: average about 45 years in the wild, may live up to 80 years in captivity.

Facts: When fish are migrating, crocodile hunt cooperatively by forming a semi-circle across the river and herding the fish. They then eat the fish that are closest to them.

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