Crocodile facts and information
Animals

Crocodile Facts

A crocodile is a large amphibious reptile. It lives mostly in large tropical rivers, where it is an ambush predator. One species, the Australian saltie, also travels in coastal salt water. In very dry climates, crocodiles may sleep until the dry season ends. See the fact file below for more information about crocodiles.

  • Crocodiles are reptiles that live mostly in large tropical rivers. Like other reptiles, the crocodile is a cold-blooded animal.
  • The physical characteristics of crocodiles make them good predators. They are known for their ability to hide in plain sight and ambush their pray.
  • Crocodiles are fast over short distances both on land and in the water as well. This helps in their predatory abilities.
  • Crocodiles have sharp teeth and have the strongest bite of any animal in the world.
  • Even though the crocodile has a strong bite, the muscles that open their jaws are not that powerful and a reasonably strong human could hold their jaw closed with their bare hands.
  • Crocodiles can survive for a long time without food. When they do eat, the crocodile has a variety of fish, birds and other animals.
  • Most crocodiles live in fresh water tropical rivers and lakes but some, such as the Australian saltie, also travel and live in coastal salt water.
  • Crocodiles release heat through their mouths rather than through sweat glands.
  • The saltwater crocodile is the largest species of crocodile and can grow to be 7-15 feet and up to 1,200kg (2,600lb) in weight.
  • Like alligators, crocodiles are part of the order ‘Crocodylia’ – which is a group of reptile that includes birds and long extinct dinosaurs.
  • In Florida there are more than 1,000 American crocodiles, and this doesn’t include any hatchlings.
  • American crocodiles are not only found in southern Florida, but also the Caribbean, southern Mexico and along the Central American coast towards Venezuela.
  • American crocodiles are much less aggressive than Nile and Australian crocodiles and are much more shy and reclusive.
  • January and February is the typical mating season for a crocodile and the gestation period is around 2-3 months for the egg incubation. A typical clutch size is around 35-50 crocodile eggs.
  • The female crocodile will build a nest of loose dirt near the water’s edge in April or May. She will bury the eggs and guard her nest fiercely from other animals.
  • When the crocodile eggs hatch in July or August the female will carry her young to the water. Unlike the alligator though, the crocodile will not continue to care for her young.
  • The greatest threats to crocodiles are loss of their habitat because of human development, illegal killing by poachers, and roadkill.