Today is my 10th birthday, so I want to write about one of my all-time favourite animals, the Nile crocodile.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These massive reptiles are the second largest crocodiles in the world and can grow up to 6 metres long. Only the saltwater crocodile is bigger.
- The Nile crocodile is perfectly suited to catching prey in the water. Their eyes, ears and nostrils are on top of their head, enabling them to hide the rest of their body underwater so that they can ambush their prey. Their long, powerful tail and webbed feet makes them excellent swimmers and they have very powerful jaws for catching prey and tearing off flesh. They even have a small valve at the back of the throat that helps them to hold prey underwater without water going down their throat.
- They are very effective predators and what they eat depends on how big they are. Young Nile crocodiles eat insects, small fish and frogs, and when they get bigger they start to eat larger fish, birds, mammals and turtles. The older and larger crocodiles can eat zebras, wildebeest, buffalo and antelopes. They are also very dangerous for people.
- At breeding time, females dig a large whole in the bank and lay up to 60 eggs. They will guard the nest for the next three months and when she hears the babies calling from the nest, will carefully help transport them to the water in her giant mouth. She then protects the babies in the water until they get bigger.
- Despite their name, they aren’t just found on the Nile River, but are common throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, living in rivers, lakes, swamps and coastal estuaries.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about Nile crocodiles?