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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nile Crocodile

Photo Credit: Leigh Bedford
The Nile crocodile survives wherever there is water, rivers, waterholes, lakes, reservoirs, even ditches. It lives in many parts of Africa, including the island of Madagascar. In periods of drought, it may travel up to 15 miles in search of water, it will die without it.

The crocodile also inhabits estuaries and can survive for a short period of time in saltwater, some regularly swim the channel between the mainland of Madagascar. During the wet seasons, young crocodiles often live in rain puddles, moving to larger pools as they grow.

Unlike mammals and birds, most reptiles can't regulated their body temperature internally. The crocodile must take other steps to warm up or cool down. It spends the morning basking in the sun to warm itself. As the day progresses and the temperature rises, the crocodile holds it mouth open to stop itself from overheating. It also looks for shade or climbs into he water. In colder periods, the crocodile moves to deep water, where the temperature stays constant. Here, it remains inactive and can survive up to a year without eating.

Did you know?
  • The Nile crocodile is the largest reptile in Africa, growing up to 20 feet from snout to tail and weighing over 1,980 pounds.
  • The Nile crocodile is able to remain submerged for more than an hour as it waits to ambush prey.
  • The Nile crocodile is massively powerful, it can drag a fully grown zebra under water in just a few seconds. 

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