Updated: Jun 19, 2021
We shall begin our tour of a crocodiles life from the moment they are born. Normally, crocodiles lay 10-60 eggs at a time. Did you know that a crocodile’s hearing is so strong, they can hear their babies calling through the eggs? It’s true! Now, the baby crocodile whose life we will view will stay in the egg for 55-110 days. When the time comes to hatch, these fearsome predators are only 7-10 inches! They don’t tend to mature until 4-15 years later.
We are now in for a treat as we learn about a crocodile’s diet. Crocodile’s normally prey on fish, birds, frogs, and crustaceans. In the wild, crocodiles will clamp down on their prey with their massive jaws, crush it, and then they will swallow the prey whole. Surprisingly, crocodiles do not have the ability to chew their food. Also, crocodiles swallow small stones to aid in digestion as they grind up food.
Now that we explored the crocodile’s childhood as well as it’s diet, it is time to move on to their behavior. American crocodiles, contrary to belief, are a shy species. Crocodiles have to bask in order to regulate their body temperature, as they are cold-blooded. There are multiple ways that a crocodile basks. One is relaxing under the sun with their mouths open.
Crocodiles live in the tropical habitats of Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. They live in fresh or brackish water of river estuaries, coastal lagoons, and mangrove swamps! Crocodiles can be easily differentiated by alligators based on the shape of their jaw. Crocodiles have more of a V-shaped jaw, whereas alligators have more of a U-shaped one. Also, crocodiles’ teeth tend to stick over their upper lip when their mouth is closed.
As the tour guide, I know many fascinating facts about crocodiles. Crocodiles do have the ability to release tears, which cleans the eye, lubricates it, and reduces bacteria. In addition, crocodiles are speedy swimmers and can hold their breath for over 1 hour. They can also survive for months without food due to their slow metabolism process. Also, their jaws can bite with 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. This means that they can bite through an arm or a leg with no problem. A human's jaw only produces 100 pounds of pressure per square inch.
Sadly, crocodiles are vulnerable, as poaching and habitat depletion has reduced their population. The bright side is that they are making a recovery as their populations are increasing.