Animals

17 Fang-tastic Facts About The Crocodilian For Kids

Crocodilian facts are amazing
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The crocodilian species comprises crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials. They are  large lizard-like reptiles which are considered to be the heaviest of the present day reptiles. They live long elongated snout, the size of which differs from every subspecies. The scales on their body are arranged in a general pattern. Crocodilians species possess the power to hold their breath under the water for as long as one hour. When a crocodile opens its mouths, all its teeth are visible as the upper and lower jaw of a crocodile are of the same width. With the help of their jaws, crocodilians can apply 5,000 lb of pressure per square inch, while humans can only apply pressure up to 100 lb per square inch. Like other reptiles, crocodilians are also cold blooded. The largest species of crocodilian are the saltwater crocodiles which are found in the northern regions of Asia.

If you are fascinated by the crocodilian, then you may want to read the following amazing facts about them. If you want to learn more about different animals, you can read up on Gharial and Saltwater Crocodile.

Crocodilians

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fish, birds and other smaller animals

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

25-30

How much do they weigh?

1000 lb

How long are they?

240-252 inches


How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Blackish grey, olive green and brown

Skin Type

Scale

What are their main threats?

Poachers

What is their conservation status?

American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus): Vulnerable Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius): Critically Endangered Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus): Lower Risk/Least Concern Mugger crocodile, marsh crocodile, or Indian crocodile (Crocodylus palustris): Vulnerable Saltwater crocodile or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus): Lower Risk/Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Lakes, rivers, wetlands or even saltwater regions like mangrove swamps

Locations

Tropical regions of Africa, Northern Australia, Southeast Asia and South America, United States

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Scientific Name

Crocodylinae

Family

Crocodylidae

Genus

N/A

Crocodilian Interesting Facts

What type of animal are crocodilians?

Crocodilians are large lizard-like animals that are found in South America, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

What class of animal do crocodilians belong to?

Crocodiles are large ponderous amphibian animals that belong to the reptile order Crocodilya.

How many crocodilians are there in the world?

The number of crocodilian species differ on the basis of the subspecies. The number of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is 20,0000, Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) is 100-250,  Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) are 50,000-70,000, Mugger crocodiles, marsh crocodiles, or Indian crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris) are 5,700-8,700, and saltwater crocodiles, or the estuarine crocodile, (Crocodylus porosus), being the largest crocodile, is less than 200,000 in population.

Where do crocodilians live?

Crocodilians are generally found in regions Africa, Northern Australia, Southeast Asia and South America, United States

What is a crocodilian's habitat?

A crocodilian's habitat generally includes the tropical regions. They are mostly found near lakes, rivers, wetlands or even saltwater regions like mangrove swamps.

Who do crocodilians live with?

The crocodilian species are considered to be the most social reptiles. Although crocodiles do not form any social groups in general, in times of feeding or basking under the Sun, they congregate in certain sections of their habitat. During the mating season, male crocodiles or crocs show aggressive behavior towards other members to establish dominance.

How long do crocodilians live?

The average lifespan of a crocodilian is 35-75 years. The age of crocodiles is determined by the number of growth rings in their bones. The higher the number of rings, higher are the years they have lived.

How do they reproduce?

During the mating season, male crocodilians or crocodiles produce a low frequency infrasound that is impossible to be detected by humans, however small vibrations in the water can be felt, Simultaneously, they also release an oily musk on the surface of the water, to further tempt the female. The female crocodile in turn responds to the call of the male and mating occurs between the two. A female crocodile can lay up to 60 eggs. During birth, the female crocodile carries the egg in her mouth and moves further away, to protect her child from any kind of threat.

What is their conservation status?

Crocodilians can be divided into 23 species. The following is a list of crocodilians and their conservation according to the conservation category. Among the 23, the ones which fall under the Vulnerable category are, American Crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus), Mugger crocodiles, marsh crocodiles or Indian crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris), African  Dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis). Freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnsonis), saltwater crocodiles or the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) fall under the category of Least Concern and  Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) is in the Critically Endangered category. The reason for the decline in numbers of the population of crocodilians is poachers, who hunt them for their meat and skin.

Crocodilians Fun Facts

What do crocodilians look like?

All crocodilians are large lizard-like animals with thick and plated skin. Their nose, ears and eyes are located on the top of their head which allows them to stay hidden underwater. They have powerful jaws, filled with conical teeth and their feet are small, with webbed toes.

Crocodilian can live in a variety of environments.

How cute are they?

With powerful jaws and conical teeth, crocodilians are not always considered to be cute. On seeing a crocodile, the most natural reaction would be to run away from it, rather than trying to pet it.

How do they communicate?

Crocodilians or crocodiles may communicate with each through various ways. They use all their senses like touch, smell and vision to communicate with each other. Crocodiles do not have a vocal cord, however they release different types of sound like hiss, growl, cough and bellow to convey different meanings to each other. These sounds can have different meanings like mating call, contact call or even threat. The intensity and the tonality of the sound however, may differ from one crocodile to another.

How big are crocodilians?

The average size of a crocodilian may range from 36 -276 in (1m-7m). Some prehistoric species like the late Cretaceous Deinosuchus were even as long as 432 in (11m). which is almost three times bigeer than a giraffe.

How fast can crocodilians swim?

Because of the webbing on the toes on the hind leg, crocodiles are able to move faster in the water than on land. Their specialized structures allow them to make sudden turns or movements under the water.   The average speed of a crocodile ranges from 6-7 mph , especially when they belly-run. Belly-run is the process when the body of an animal moves like a snake with their limbs paddling away and their tails moving to and from.

How much do crocodilians weigh?

The weight of a crocodilian greatly varies among the species. An average size male crocodilian can weigh up to 1000 lb. While there have been cases where a crocodilian which is 276 in long, could weigh up to 2,200 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male crocodiles are called bulls and females are called cows.

What would you call a baby crocodilian?

The baby of a crocodile is called a hatchling.

What do they eat?

Crocodilians are carnivorous, so they eat almost all types of meat, humans are not excluded from that list as well. The primary diet of a crocodilian includes snakes, deer, birds, small elephants, and all types of reptiles. There have also been cases when crocodilians have been known to eat hippopotamus or rhinoceros.

Are they dangerous?

The crocodile species are extremely dangerous, and since they are carnivorous, eating humans is natural for them. They are extremely hard to catch or even kill and are extremely good hunters. Crocodilians tend to show aggressive behavior when they sense any form of threat that crosses their territory. The most wise decision, when coming in contact with a crocodile would be to run away in the opposite direction.

Would they make good pets?

No, crocodilians are not the suitable type of pet anyone would like to have. They require a lot of food, and because of their carnivorous nature, they may even attack their owners. They are aggressive and cannot be trusted around with anybody.

Did you know...

The bite from a crocodile species is considered to be the strongest among all the other reptiles in the world. However, the muscles used while opening their jaw are not strong enough, and any bulky person would  be able to open their jaw with bare hands. Crocodiles release their body heat through their mouth with the help of a process called 'mouth-gaping', which is almost similar to panting, unlike other animals, who release them through their sweat glands.

Crocodilians are considered to be the living link between the dinosaurs of prehistoric times, and their nearest living relatives are birds. Crocodilians carry their hatchlings in their mouth. The smallest animal of the crocodilian is the dwarf crocodile. The fossils of prehistoric crocodilians are found in different parts of the world.

The saltwater crocodile is the largest crocodile, among all the 23 species.  Crocodiles possess 60 - 110 teeth. When they lose a tooth, an alternative replacement is already waiting in its place. In this manner, a crocodile can replace 80 of them almost 50 times, throughout their lifetime.

'Gastroliths', or the process of swallowing stones, is yet another technique used by crocodilians to improve their process of digestion, when they hunt on any big  and tougher animal and eat them whole. There have been several instances when crocodilians have been found to eat smaller or younger crocs.

Crocodiles have the ability to sleep with their one eye open, asides from other reptiles and birds and dolphins.

According to a survey, crocodilians have been known to kill 1000 humans every year. The attacks are most frequent in the regions of South Africa.

A croc possesses  extremely efficient metabolism power, which helps them to store and utilize the entirety of the food in their stomach. For this reason, a croc can go almost a year without eating food. During this period, a croc shuts itself down and lives off its own tissues.

How many species of crocodilians are there?

There are 23 species of the Crocodilian, which are further divided into three families: Alligatoridae (eight species), Crocodylidae (14 species) and Gavialidae (two species of Gharial). The different types of crocodilians are as follows.

The sub species of Alligatoridae are American alligator, Chinese alligator, black caiman alligators,  Broad-snouted alligator, spectacled caiman alligator, Yacare caiman alligators, Cuvier’s dwarf alligator, Schneider’s smooth-fronted caiman alligators.

The sub species of Crocodylidae are African slender-snouted crocodile, Cuban crocodile, American crocodile, Australian freshwater crocodile,  dwarf crocodile, Morelet’s crocodile,  Orinoco crocodile, Mugger crocodiles, New Guinea freshwater crocodile, Nile crocodile, West African crocodile, saltwater crocodile, Philippine crocodile,  and Siamese crocodile.

The sub species of Gavialidae are Gharial and Tomistoma.

How do crocodilians smell?

Crocodilians smell through the process of olfaction. The sensory ability of a crocodilian through their nose is extremely well developed and they are able to detect their prey like birds or fish, on land or in water, from a very long distance. Their eyes, ears and nostrils are located on the top of their head, which allows them to stay hidden under water and easily deceive their prey. They have a more rounded snouts and shorter mouth than a crocodile, which is also the main difference in the appearance of the two species.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including green anole facts, or turtle facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Crocodilian coloring pages.

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