Remaining morphologically unchanged over the centuries, the crocodile as a wild animal is one of the most feared by humanity; moreover, it is considered one of the ugliest species of wildlife.
So, let us learn a little more about this reptile that intimidates many with its malevolent gaze.
The characteristics of the crocodile as a wild animal
The crocodile as a wild animal has lived in our world for more than 240 million years, becoming today the largest reptile that inhabits the earth. In this sense, it is common in the tropics of Africa, Central America, and Asia, near river mouths, coastal areas, swamps or in some lakes.
It is also a silent animal, that moves slowly, and unpredictable at the time of attacking its prey; since in the least expected moment, it opens its enormous jaw with very sharp teeth, to crack the booty with high precision, possessing the most powerful bite of wild animals.
Also, its elongated body is reinforced by many ridges or bony protuberances, which protect it from the attacks of its predators.
On the other hand, it is the reptile with more vocalizations, coming to emit about twenty sounds to communicate with its species; at the same time, its excellent memory and a great sense of direction, make it able to return to the place where it was captured, years after the event.
Additionally, he is an excellent and fast swimmer, and this happens because when he swims, he puts his feet under his body, which reduces the resistance caused by the current of the water.
As for its diet, the crocodile, as one of the wild carnivorous animals, eats only once a week; is characterized by consuming fish, crustaceans and mammals, even other reptiles; and even devours stones to help with digestion.
What are the types of crocodiles?
Twenty-three classes of crocodiles have now been identified around the world, in both freshwater and saltwater habitats, including the Nile crocodile, marine crocodile, American crocodile, Cuban crocodile, and gavial crocodile.
Moreover, although they are sometimes confused with caimans, the easiest way to differentiate them is by the snout, which is thinner and longer.
Thus, the crocodile, like a wild animal, is another of the pillars of the ecosystem, through selective predation and the maintenance of water shelters during the dry season; it is also considered the last of the living dinosaurs.
Also called sea crocodile. It is so-called because it is the species that spend the most time in the water, even walking far from coastal areas. Along with this, the marine crocodile is the largest class of crocodile in existence, measuring between 4 and 5 meters; although larger specimens have been recorded.
Its head is more robust and bulky than other crocodile species. Their skin color is between green and grey. It has about 66 thick, sharp teeth, perfect for retaining and crushing prey.
It is very fast when swimming, since, with the help of its long tail, it can reach 43 km/h. In addition to its skin color helps it camouflage very well, so their attacks being on the shore are lethal and precise.
We know this crocodile likes to be in saltwater. However, to be more specific, it is frequently seen in Asia, Australia, and South Africa. It can inhibit both warm and cold drinks of water if necessary.
They can also be found in freshwater rivers or lakes. Also in estuaries or the mouth of a river into the sea.
The marine crocodile is one of the most fearsome predators of all the wild animals in the ocean. As a carnivore, it feeds on virtually any species it can hunt. Its menu includes fish, crustaceans, small mammals, and other crocodiles.
They can also become scavengers if they wish, or the situation warrants it. They feed both on land and in water.
Marine Crocodile Reproduction
Females reach sexual maturity earlier than males. They are 10 years old, and they are 16 years old. In the breeding season, the males become aggressive and fight each other to see who is the strongest and fittest to mate with the female.
They are an oviparous species. The female will deposit in a safe place approximately 60 eggs; with an incubation period of 3 months.
Crocodiles and Caymans Are They the Same?
The primary and most notorious feature between these two species is that alligators have a U-shaped snout, broad and round, while crocodiles have an elongated, pointed, V-shaped snout. Another factor is the size. In their adult stage, crocodiles can measure much more than an adult caiman; the latter do not often exceed 2 meters in length.
So finally, another very well recognized is that caimans can only live in freshwater, while crocodiles adapt to both fresh and saltwater, such is the case of the aforementioned marine crocodile.