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Thursday, April 18, 2024

10 Interesting Facts Why Nile Crocodile is the World Largest Reptile

The Nile crocodile, also known as the African crocodile or commonly crocodile, is a sizable reptile native to freshwater habitats in Africa. 

Its scientific name Crocodylus niloticus, is from a Greek word, with Crocodylus meaning “pebble and worm,” referring to its rough scales, while Niloticus means “from the Nile River.”

Though there are hundreds of species of reptiles in the world, the Nile crocodile is the largest amongst all. 

We will exhaustively discuss ten (10) interesting facts about the Nile crocodile, the world’s largest reptile.  

1. The length of Nile crocodile ranges from 11.5 – 16.4 ft 

Nile crocodile is one of the biggest in the crocodile family, and the length of the adult male Nile crocodile is relatively more extensive than the female. 

From the snout to tail, the length of an adult male Nile crocodile ranges between 11.5 and 16.4 ft which is equivalent to 350.5 – 499.8 cm. 

The length of the female Nile crocodile is a bit smaller, measuring from 7.3 to 12.6 feet. 

2. Nile crocodile can weigh between 500 – 1650 pounds or lb  

Adding to why the Nile crocodile is the world’s largest reptile is present in its weight.

The weight of both sexes of the Nile crocodile can measure beyond 500 to 1650 pounds, approximately 226.7 – 748.4 kg. 

Nile crocodile is so enormous that even the baby crocodile measures one foot long and one pound weight. 

3. It has an elongated V-shaped jaw 

Then again, the powerful v-shaped jaw of Nile crocodile possessing the strongest conical teeth on each is another feature that makes it the world’s largest reptile.

A Nile crocodile’s jaws vary; thus, the bigger the crocodile, the larger the powerful elongated jaws with strong teeth.

4. The Nile crocodile has a long head, measuring 5.87 m.

As the largest reptile on earth, the Nile crocodile has a long pointed head, measuring 19 feet, 3 inches, approximately 5.87 meters.

The length of a detached head of this reptile killed in 1968 measured 19 ft 3in (5.87 m) and weighed 366 Ib (166 kg), plus the large tendons for shutting the jaw.

From the above fact about the length and weight, we can see that the Nile crocodile’s head is enormous.

Its ears and eyes on the head enable it to see, breathe, and hear when the rest of the body is deep inside the water.  

5. It also has large scutes that are certainly multifunctional.

Another exceptional feature of the Nile crocodile is its group of bony scutes on the dorsal shield, alternatively referred to as scales that are nearly indeed multifunctional.

The Nile crocodile’s scutes are very big because they’re naturally large.

Up to 17 transverse rows of vaguely squarish scutes form on the dorsal shield of a Nile crocodile, with every row comprising 4 to 8 scutes (but regularly 6)

The thick scutes cover the body of a Nile crocodile, with each of them having an active spot for sensitivity. Also, the scutes help it to endure the heat under the sun. 

6. The tail of a Nile crocodile measures 7.5 ft long

Nile crocodile has a long muscular tail measuring 7.5 ft long-serving as its primary power source. 

Its long tails make it a strong swimmer, competent of hasty dives out of the water to capture prey.

The tails are so long and strong that they can thrust their whole body out of the water.   

7. The reptile has four short, big legs.

Nile crocodile is the largest reptile because of its short but big legs that offer an advantage in shallow water.

The hind legs of a Nile crocodile are more developed than the front pair, and it has four webbed toes.

Its webbed feet permit them to make quick turns and swift moves in the water.  

8. Long conical teeth with the most substantial bite ever.

Nile crocodile has incredible long teeth of about 64 to 68 in number, and it measures 13 cm long. 

It has a heterodont dentition that features visible molars, canine, and incisors teeth.  

According to findings, the bite of Nile crocodile slammed with its jaw using the conical teeth measured 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

The fourth tooth on each side of its jaw is so long that it is continuously noticeable even when it closes the mouth. 

9. It has a broader body measuring over 1,000 kg

The body mass of a Nile crocodile measures more than 1,000 kg, mainly adapted for a life in water. 

10. Despite the substantial features, the Nile crocodile still moves fast

A Nile crocodile moves fast despite all the enormous features that make it bigger than other reptiles. 

It can move as fast as 18.6-21.7 mph (29.9-34.9 kph). Perhaps not the fastest in movement, but it is always agile, giving it the upper hand when hunting. 

General Facts about Africa’s Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

Apart from the facts about the Nile crocodile as the world’s largest reptile, you should know many other facts about it.

Such appealing facts include:

1. The habitat of Nile crocodile

Nile crocodiles love areas with a water source such as rivers, dams, streams, lakes, swamps, and marshes. 

Its habitat is sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, Nile Basin, freshwater marshes, and mangrove swamps.

2. Lifespan ranges from 50 to 100 years

The Nile crocodile has a higher life expectancy than all other species of crocodiles.

The lifespan of the Nile crocodile is between 50 – 60 years or seventy (70) to hundred (100) years.  

3. Nile crocodile’s prey 

The main primary diet of Nile crocodiles is fish, but it can take down zebras, antelopes, hippos, birds, wildebeests, and otters as a substitute. 

4. How long can Nile crocodiles stay without food?

Since this reptile is a cold-blooded animal with an able metabolism, it can go for years without eating. 

5. Colorings of the Nile crocodile

It may surprise you that crocodile that lives in fast-living water have lighter colors than those in dark, murky swamps. 

The sentence above means their color is dependent on their environment. Therefore, Nile crocodiles have greenish-yellow scales with bronze highlights. 

6. It has the strongest bite.

Among the entire list of animals in the animal kingdom, the Nile crocodiles have the most substantial bite.

Its bite can use a force seven times more powerful than a white shark and fifteen times more than a Rottweiler’s.  

7. A baby Nile crocodile

Quite surprising, some folks don’t even know what to call the baby of the African Nile crocodile. 

The sex of Nile crocodile hatchling depends on the temperature at which the eggs develop. 

A temperature less than 30ºC will likely produce females, the one at 31ºC will have hatchling mixed, and then the one at 32ºC will have just males.

8. Incubation 

A female crocodile can lay up to 25 to 100 eggs, and it’s hatched under the sand for three (3) months. 

Nesting of the female Nile crocodile takes place on river banks, day streams, or shorelines, usually in November or December. 

9. Communication

Nile crocodile is a vocal animal with a loud voice capable of scaring both animal and human away. 

They communicate through gape, hiss, and body language like water splashing.

Did you know that…?

  • Nile crocodile habiting in the Nile River has not break-through the Nile basin lakes.
  • It splashes water, slaps its tail, snouts, and blows water from the nose when displaying gestures for reproduction.
  • The male crocodile guards the site for laying eggs for three months and makes a loud call as notification when the eggs are hatching.
  • A baby of a Nile crocodile species is known as a hatchling, and it grows 30.48 cm per year.
  • Nile crocodiles in Kruger National Park are 365.7 cm or 12 ft in length.
  • Lolong is the most giant Nile crocodile, which measured 20 ft (617 cm) long.
  • Sexual maturing for male Nile crocodiles occur when they are up to 3.3m long, and that of females is when they reach 2.2m in length. 
  • The Nile crocodile produces tears that help clean their eyes from dust and dirt. 

Countries where you can spot the Nile crocodile in Africa

One can commonly find the Nile crocodiles in DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, South Sudan, etc.

Scientific Classification of Nile crocodile

Common Name

Nile crocodile

Kingdom – Animalia

Class – Reptilia

Phylum – Chordata

Family – Crocodylidae

Order – Crocodylia

Genus Species – Crocodylus (crocodile) (belonging to the Nile River) 

The Nile crocodile at a glance

Nile crocodile is a giant, lizard-shaped reptile with four short legs and a long muscular tail. 

The hide is roughly scaled, and the young Nile crocodiles are dark olive to brown with darker crossbands on the tail and body. 

Adults are uniformly dark with darker crossbands on the tail weighing 500 Ibs.

What are some fun facts about the Nile crocodiles?

Fun facts about the Nile crocodile include its strong personality, dangerous but fascinating look, vocal communication, fast movement, and its females showing maternal care to their babies.

Another fact is that the sex of crocodile hatchling is dependent on the temperature, and lastly, the reptile is the most vocal among others.

What are five interesting facts about crocodiles?

The facts about crocodiles are that they are fast over short distances, have sharp teeth, with the most substantial bite.

Another interesting fact is that the muscle that opens the Nile crocodile’s jaws is not robust.

What are the ten interesting facts about crocodiles?

The facts include that they are an enormous reptile on the planet, there is a species called dwarf crocodile, and they are widespread. 

They are closely related to dinosaurs, produce tears that clean their eyes and open their jaw underwater.

They live long. Nile crocodile ancestors were much bigger, and they also had good night vision.

Conclusion

Nile crocodile is the largest crocodilian in Africa, with significant distinctive features. 

It’s an enormous reptile and one of few animals human beings frequently feature on the menu. 

Nile crocodile is the world’s largest reptile, worth exploring while on a safari trip with the assistance of a tour guide to avoid any harm.  

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