If we wish to list the most ferocious organisms on this earth, missing out crocodiles would rather be a blunder. Crocodiles are large aquatic tetrapods who could be crowned as the most aggressive creature surviving till date. Let us see how dangerous they really are and reveal some unknown facts about the various different types of crocodile in the world.
Types of Crocodiles in the World
Physical features of Crocodile
Crocodiles are tropical reptiles found in freshwater habitat around the world.
There is a total of 14 species present ranging from the 2 m (7 ft) long dwarf crocodiles of Western Africa to the huge man-eating 7.5 m (25 ft) long Indo-Pacific crocodiles
The Indo-Pacific, American, and Nile crocodiles can live equally well in the sea as in freshwater.
They live near marshes and swamps. Even lakes, estuaries, and Mangroves are accounted as their habitats.
Breeding of Crocodile
Loud bellowing proceeds mating under water.
One month later female lay up to 90 leathery-shelled eggs that they incubate for 2-3 months in nests.
Some species lay eggs in a special location in order to avoid total loss by flooding or predation.
High temperature during incubation results in more males than females.
A baby calls its mother with squeaks and breaks out of the egg shell by “pipping” with an egg tooth on the tip of the snout.
The mother carries young to crèche where she will guard them until they become independent, which clearly means that there is a great amount of parental care provided to the young ones.
How do Crocodiles move
On land crocodiles may slide along on their bellies, scooting with their feet.
Sometimes they adopt the “high walk” and raise their bodies fully off the ground.
The “gallop” is when the crocodiles run with their tails in the air, usually seen when they are being chased.
The “tail walk” is used to snatch prey from branches above the water.
In water, crocodiles swim using powerful sweeps of their tails.
After lying hidden for hours, a crocodile suddenly seizes prey from riverbanks and drag it under water until it drowns.
Crocodiles cannot chew, so prey is dismembered by shaking and spinning. The whole animal is eaten.
Strong juices and pebbles in the stomach help break down the food.
Unique features of Crocodile
During the night, crocodiles can easily be detected due to their “eye shine” which works as a red reflective look that they assume when illuminated in the dark.
The tail of an estuarine crocodile measures to be 49.5% of its total body length which is also the longest for any crocodile.
The tool helps to push the animal through the water and spikes located along the top of the tail become an important entity of the tail.
It’s not just that they increase the surface area and henceforth thrust for the tail but as they are made of cartilage they have a considerable blood supply and choose to be an important device in thermo-regulation processes.
Different Types of Crocodile
This group contains different types of crocodiles and somehow all are equally unique and fascinating for a nature lover. Let’s acknowledge their varieties by knowing a little about them.
1) Cuban crocodile: As the name itself indicates that they are only found in certain swamps of Cuba and Isla de la Juventud, unfortunately this crocodile is highly endangered nowadays.
At a mere length of being three meters (9.84′) long, it surely can’t be considered as a large one among crocodiles, and it doesn’t wear a very unusual appearance either, but don’t get fooled by this; it is indeed one of the most extraordinary crocodilians, and according to zookeepers who have worked for a long time with them, suggests it to be among the most aggressive of them. Well! A far a humans are concerned, attack on humans are rarely reported.
2) African dwarf crocodile: These are inhabitants of tropical rivers and swamps of western and central Africa, they are honoured to be the smallest true living crocodile species.
It just measures 1.5 meters (4.92′) long (rarely 1.8 meters – 5.90′)
Quite shy predator which eats insects, frogs, fishes and whatever body it comes across.
Thankfully it is not that dangerous to humans unless harassed (though a female protecting her eggs in the nest may attack any invader, as all fellow crocodilians).
A fascinating physical appearance is that they are not just plated on the back, as in every other crocodilian, but also in the belly including the throat region.
3) Slender snouted crocodile: South East Asia, particularly Malaysia and Borneo are their habitats.
They are not so oftenly reported as one of the largest crocodiles but there is plenty of proof of them reaching incredible sizes like 6 to 7 meters.
4) Yacare : Sometimes known as the “piranha yacare” , the Yacare are a part to the group of the caimans, mostly South American siblings to the famous alligator.
The piranha seems to be its most preferred prey, and so is its popular name.
5) Spectacled Caiman: only caiman that can be spotted in the Northern Hemisphere (its northernmost point marks the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca in Mexico), and is also a very common crocodilian present in the world.
6) Dwarf caiman: In reality there are two species of dwarf caiman.
As for their small size (usually under 2 meters (6.56′) length) and somewhat cute appearance (big eyes, short upturned snout), and the basic fact that they are not endangered.
Dwarf Caimans have lately renowned as a popular as exotic pets.
7) Chinese alligator: Credited as an inspiration for the Chinese dragon myths.
The only species of genus Alligator, leaving the more famous American alligator.
The latter can easily grow up to lengths of 5 meters (16.4′)
Is aggressive and powerful enough to destroy humans.
8) Freshwater crocodile: This Australian freshwater crocodile is another crocodile having a slender snout adapted to prey upon fishes.
Although it attacks people on seldom occasions, which happens only when the crocodile is trying to protect its nest or territory, or when it has been infuriated but most of the time it is a very calm and harmless animal.
9) Gharial : The Gharial is considerably the most bizarre looking crocodilian. Its very long, very slender snout is adapted to catch fish, as are the interlocking, needle-like teeth. Gharials are possibly the most aquatic of all crocodilians, and they have very short and weak legs; they actually only leave water to bask in the sun and to lay their eggs.
They are found in India and Nepal and is among the largest of its fellow mates.
10) Broad-snouted caiman : The broad-snouted caiman is a crocodilian reptile spotted in eastern and central South America, including southeastern Brazil, northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.
It is found mostly in freshwater marshes, swamps, and mangroves.
Do you know any other types of crocodiles? How about sharing them with us in the comments below.