The Crocodile

Good morning,

we hope you gad a great weekend!

Do you know who is the closest living relative of the bird?
One tip – birds and the one we are looking for are the only known survivors of the Archosauria.

Yes, it is the crocodilia. The family of crocodilia includes alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharial.
Today we want to tell you something about the crocodile which lives throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, America and Australia.

croc1

These large reptiles are semi-aquatic which means that they are primarily terrestrial, but spend a large amount of time under water.
Unlike the alligator, the crocodile is very sensitive to cold and it lives near rivers, lakes, wetlands and sometimes even saltwater.

In Tanzania you can find the nile crocodile which is the second largest extant reptile in the world after the saltwater crocodile.
The average size is between four to five meters, weighing around 410 kg. But even bigger is not uncommon!
Males are up to 30% larger than females. In Mwanza (Tanzania) the largest accurately measured male was found with a length of 6,47 m and a weight of 1,090 kg.

As an ambush predator (“sit and wait predator”) the nile crocodile can wait for hours or even weeks for the suitable moment to attack another animal. With an extremely powerful bite and sharp teeth, this crocodile is very aggressive and can take almost any animal within its range. Sad but true, hundreds of humans get killed by nile crocodiles every year.
Most prey gets attacked when the animal comes to the water to drink. The attack is very sudden and the crocodile pulls the prey item into the water where it kills it.

Other food is fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and small to mid-sized mammals.

croc2

The coloration of this animal is dark bronze with black spots on the back and a dirty purple on the belly. As it matures, it becomes darker. The eye color is green.
Four short legs, a long powerful tail and a scaly hide with rows of ossified scutes running down the back and tail are very characteristic for the crocodile.
The nostrils, eyes and ears are situated on top of the head, so that the crocodile can perfectly hide under water for long time.

Normally crawling along their bellies, nile crocodiles can also walk with their trunks raised above the ground. But with a speed of 30 to 35 km/h they are much faster by swimming than by walking (maximum 14 km/h).

The average life span is 70 to 100 years. With around 10 years, a crocodile is getting sexual mature. The females bury their eggs in sand after two months after mating. Hatchlings are about 300 mm and are protected by their mother for up to two years.

Crocodiles are protected in many parts of the world, but they are also farmed commercially for producing leather goods.

If you make a boats tour on your Tanzanian safari, probably you can find some crocodiles – but of course from a safe distance.
Your guide will tell you more interesting facts about this fascinating but dangerous animals.
If you are interested in visiting the Snake Park during your stay in Arusha, you can witness the feeding of the crocodiles.

Yours, World Air Travel & Tours

Thank you to the photographers. World Air Travel & Tours does not own these photos.

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