What do crocodiles eat

A crocodile's body is better suited to aquatic life than to land. It can walk with its four legs and swim very well with its long tail. The front feet have 5 long toes. This gives crocodiles a firm hold. The hind feet only have 4 toes and are used to steer in the water.

You can tell crocodiles from alligators by their teeth. In the alligator, the teeth are not clearly visible when the mouth is closed, while in a crocodile almost all teeth can be seen even when the mual is closed: you can see the upper and lower teeth. It looks a bit like the crocodile is grinning.

Crocodiles eat a lot of animals. They mainly catch their prey on and in the water. They feed on fish, turtles, mammals and birds. Large crocodiles also catch large mammals. To do this, they usually wait in the water until animals come to the edge of the water, then snap and pull the prey into the water. There the prey drowns and can be eaten. Crocodiles also eat carrion (animals found dead).

When the female crocodiles mate, they dig a hole in the ground. There they lay up to 50 eggs, which they carefully arrange in two to three layers. This is where the sun and the warmth of the environment incubate the eggs. Crocodiles look angry, but the female crocodiles take good care of their young. They take care that nobody disturbs the nest. When the young have hatched (the female often helps and cracks the eggshells a little), the mother crocodile leads her young to the water like a mother duck. In the first months of life, the young usually stay close to the mother for protection. They also swim after their mother. When danger threatens, the mother takes the young in her mouth and brings them to safety.

There are different species of crocodiles. The best known is the Nile crocodile from Africa. It becomes up to 7 m long.

Nile crocodiles used to live all over Africa, as well as Madagascar and as far as Palestine. Today they have already been wiped out in some areas.

Crocodiles get very old.


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Last update of this page: August 20, 2015

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