All About the Crocodile

Many people don’t know the difference between a crocodile and alligator because of their similarities.

The biggest difference is the jaw shape, but also the habitat they live in.

What You Should Know

Crocodiles are considered a reptile. They live in tropical areas of Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Other members of the Crocodilia family include alligators, gharials, and caimans.

In total, there are 13 crocodile species. The smallest of these is the dwarf crocodile measuring just 5.6 feet long and weighing 15 pounds. The largest crocodile is the saltwater crocodile. It measures up to 10 feet long and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.

The crocodile is a carnivore. That means they only eat meat. In the wild, you will catch them hunting frogs, birds, crustaceans, and fish. In captivity, they eat small animals that have been caught for them, such as mice, fish, and rats.

What Sound Do They Make?

The crocodile makes a variety of sounds from a distress call to courtship bellows. Some species have over twenty messages they make with vocal sounds. It’s even been recorded with the Nile crocodile that babies will call out while still in the egg.

You can hear some of the sounds while looking at some crocodile pictures.

Group Characteristics

The female crocodile lays between ten and 60 eggs at one time. Her hatchlings remain in the eggs for 55 to 110 days. When they are born, they measure about seven to ten inches long. Depending on the species, the crocodile won’t mature until it hits four to 15 years old. Some species can live to be 30 years old, while others have been recorded to reach 75 years old.

How Many are There?

Some species are more at risk than others. For example, the Cuban crocodile is one of the most endangered of all the species. It’s labeled as critically endangered and currently has a population of about 4,000. The American crocodile is listed as vulnerable, but the population has been on the rise recently.

The crocodile was once hunted for its hides. This illegal killing, along with human development and roadkill, has been some of the greatest threats to both crocodiles and alligators. As the sea level continues risking because of climate change, freshwater habitats face an invasion of saltwater, which also harms the population.

Watch a Video

You can always learn a lot from a Steve Irwin video. This one features the Australian crocodile.

You can also view a BBC film highlighting what happens when a crocodile attacks the wildebeest.

Pop Culture

In modern movies and TV, the crocodile is often used to scare people. That’s what makes it a common choice for horror films. Some of the most popular of recent years include Rogue, Lake Placid, Croc, Dinocroc, and Supercroc.

Aside from that, the crocodile is used as a mascot for teams and businesses. Some examples include the Canton Crocodiles and Crocs, the shoe company.

Crocodiles have also found their way into comics. One of the most popular is Killer Croc, the Batman supervillain.

Interesting Facts

The biggest difference between an alligator and crocodile is the jaw shape. An alligator features a U–shape, but the crocodile has a V. The crocodile also has teeth that stick out over the upper lip when they close their mouths.

When the crocodile loses a tooth, it is replaced. They will go through 8,000 teeth during their life.

The term crying crocodile tears refers to someone that doesn’t truly feel remorseful. The saying started in the 16th century, but crocodiles do produce tears. They aren’t noticeable until the croc has been out of the water long enough to be completely dry.