This is one of the largest animals from the order of crocodiles. Some representatives of the species can reach a length of 7 meters, although this is rare, the average size of the animal is 4-5 meters. Females - even less, not more than 3 meters. The weight of large individuals can reach 1 ton, ordinary representatives of this species - from 500 to 600 kilograms.
This crocodile, along with poisonous snakes, is classified as a group of mammals that could live to our times.
Scientific and folk epithets
In Latin, this type of crocodile sounds like porosus and is translated as "nozdrevaty." Indeed, the old individuals on the face have multiple bumps, hence the name.
In Russian, the term is used - "comby crocodile". This name is given due to the presence of two powerful ridges in the mammal.
The people of the reptiles used many different names that characterize the lifestyle: "cannibal", "marine", "underwater".
The saltwater crocodile has the largest range among all species. This can be explained by the fact that the reptile swims beautifully.
There is an animal on almost all the banks of Southeast Asia, in the northern part of Australia, in Sri Lanka and in India, even in Vietnam (the central part).
Most of all, this crocodile has chosen the coast of Australia, the island of Papua New Guinea. And in the Seychelles the mammal was completely destroyed. Sometimes the reptile swims even on the southern coast of Japan.
By the way, in the animated film "Oktonavty", the comby crocodile and its life is very well displayed, so that children can get a lot of interesting information.
What does an animal look like
The muzzle of this species of crocodiles is somewhat different from other representatives. It is wider, the head itself is rather large and has a very massive jaw. With age, the upper part of the reptile's muzzle is covered with mounds and deep wrinkles.
The main distinguishing feature is the crests near the eyes, which, presumably, are designed to protect the eyes from impacts. In the eyes there are special blink membranes so that the animal can look under water.
Juveniles have a yellowish-brown color, pale, with pronounced spots and stripes of black color. Over the years, spots and stripes become less pronounced. Depending on the habitat, reptiles may be lighter or darker.
The abdomen has no stripes, may be white or yellow. Bottom tail painted in gray, with darker stripes.
The scales are oval in shape and relatively small, rare, which gives more opportunities for active and fast movement under water.
The tail of the large crested crocodile is the longest of all representatives of the crocodile. At length, it is about 55% of the entire body length.
The jaws of the animal are massive, the teeth are conical in shape from 64 to 68, sharp and long, ideally suited for washing out thick skins.
Features of the form
The reptile's heart has 4 chambers, with a special valve that allows mixing of arterial and venous blood. This allows him to breathe under water for 5 minutes, but, if necessary, it can linger there for 30 minutes. And if there is no vigorous physical activity, it can hold out under water for up to 2 hours in a row.
Slow metabolism allows for a long time to survive without food. Even babies who have just hatched can do without food for about 58 days.
The brain of the crocodile is only 0.05% of the total mass. However, it has a complex structure and resembles a bird's brain. Therefore, the reptile is capable of learning, it can memorize the migration routes of prey. Also, these crocodiles are characterized by a wider range of sounds, and they use complex body language.
This species of reptile has the strongest bite in its jaws, which it has ever been able to measure in animals. Even if we omit the calculated values and go to practice, then the bite force was measured in one zoo. The specimen weighed 531 kilograms and was 4.59 meters long. The strength of the bite of this individual was 1675 kilograms. Although earlier, in another zoo, the Nile 5-meter crocodile showed even better results - 2268 kilograms.
Crocodile and tears
Osmoregulation in the comby crocodile is no different from other species living in sea water. In stock the cornified epithelium of the oral cavity and salt glands. An adult individual, without prejudice to health, may spend several months in seawater. In this case, the crocodile, under any circumstances, will not use salt water. During such periods, the body starts the process of minimizing the loss of moisture, and the animal gets water from food.
How the reptile lives
The main feature of the sea crescent crocodile is that it can live in salt water and go out into the open sea. These reptiles are also capable of ousting their food rivals, even such as tiger sharks.
Modern technology has allowed to conduct an interesting study, on the bodies of 20 individuals installed satellite sensors. As a result, it turned out that 8 of the 20 test subjects went to the open ocean and after 25 days sailed 590 kilometers.
While moving in the water, the animal presses its paws to the body, and moves due to the wave-like movements of the tail. If the reptile does not chase prey, then it reaches 4.8 km / h, while chasing the “food” it develops a speed of 29 km / h and more.
On land, the movement is crawling, very rarely the reptile rises on its paws or tears the stomach off the surface of the earth. The paws of the crocodile are poorly adapted to the land, so it avoids small and swampy places.
The way of life of an animal is typical enough for any predator. One crocodile controls a certain territory and protects its borders from its own kind. Hunting mainly with the onset of twilight.
Crocodiles of this species are very voracious and eat almost everything that is of organic origin. From small frogs to large artiodons, including livestock.
Little interesting about reptiles
Indeed, the ridged crocodile is not afraid of man, but only attacks the unwary. In the same Australia, only 106 cases were recorded when the meeting of a crocodile and a person ended in death for the latter. This is data for 42 years (1971-2013). That is, the figure is negligible. Naturally, the Australians make a lot of effort to protect themselves; there are special squads that drive reptiles away from human settlements and catch the most “daring” individuals. It can be concluded that this species is not as dangerous as representatives of “leather” companies want.
In 2006, information appeared in the media and a photo of a comby crocodile, 7.01 meters long, weighing 2 tons. He was an inhabitant of the national park in Orissa. The unique individual was even recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. At the same time, it is completely unclear how the animal was measured and weighed. There are a lot of similar stories and messages.
The characteristics of the reptile
The saltwater crocodile is a monster with a fierce temper. The male is the largest representative of the family Real crocodiles. Its weight reaches 1 ton (average - 0.5-0.6 t). The body length of an adult individual from nose to tip of tail is at least 5.2 m. Maximum - 7 m.
Other characteristics of the crocodile:
- The muzzle is wider and is located higher relative to the body than in other species.
- From the eyes to the nasal third of the muzzle, two strips of large, hilly ridges stretch.
- Eyes closes blink membrane. It is important for swimming under water.
- Body color - expressionless brown with black stripes. The older the individual, the duller.
- The coloring is often difficult to determine due to the layer of silt and dirt on the body of the animal.
- Teeth - conical, thick and sharp. Up to 38 pieces are placed on the upper jaw, about 30 pieces are on the lower jaw. Like other species, this crocodile uses them exclusively to kill and crush the victim.
The female is much smaller in size. According to these parameters, it is inferior even to representatives of other species. A crocodile male differs from a female and young stock in a more massive jaw. With age, it becomes covered in wrinkles and knolls.
Attention! The species is characterized by the greatest age variation of dimensions. Newborn individuals weigh only 700 g and have a length of no more than 30 cm. Even turtles and lizards hunt them. By the second year of life, the length of the zubastik is already 1 m, and its mass is 2.5 kg.
Archaeologists have discovered accurate evidence of the life of the combed crocodile 4-4.5 million years ago. Separate finds indirectly confirm the more ancient origin of the reptile. Its important feature is its adaptability to life in salt water. Across the ocean, the species has spread from Southeast Asia to northern Australia. He lives both inside the continent and in the coastal continental waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Among local peoples, the beast is a terrible religious symbol, an object of mythology.
In its range, the species is located at the top of the food chain. Females prefer to hunt small animals. Males tend to attack extremely large. Even tigers and sharks suffer from them. In the literature we find other names of the predator:
The species is found in river mouths, large bodies of water deep in land. The giant avoids small lakes because it is adapted to hunt under water. On land it is difficult for him to move. The 4-chamber heart allows the crocodile to hold its breath while diving for 5 minutes.
Interesting facts from the anatomy and behavior of the combed crocodile:
- The peculiar structure of the muscles gives his bite tremendous strength. Mouth slams sharply and powerfully. Getting into the teeth reptile almost always means death, even for the overall representatives of the fauna.
- Evolution gave strength to the jawbone muscles. Opening, on the contrary, are weak. This is used by reptile hunters. Easy effort is enough to deprive the crocodile of its main weapon.
- The look is characterized by powerful immunity. The body is restored even after complex wounds.
- The crocodile has a relatively small brain. But the practice proves the ability of animals to improve, to study the victims, to be cunning and cunning in hunting, to adapt to environmental changes.
- Nozdrevatyy crocodile ruthless and to relatives. In the mating season, animals participate in fierce or even deadly fights. This is confirmed by the statistics of injuries in the vast majority of reptiles.
An adult crocodile usually controls its separate piece of land. Young males without a territory or after a lost struggle for a female rush upstream or along sea routes to new habitats. Today, the combed look of a crocodile is the object of human hunting. Reptile skin is highly valued. In South Asian countries, reptile meat is also consumed. For this reason, over 100 years the population of the species has significantly decreased.
Characteristics of the saltwater crocodile
A saltwater crocodile is a reptile, which is also called a saltwater crocodile. The term "ridge" was formed due to the presence in lizards of 2 rows of strong crests, extending in the center from the eyes to the very end of the muzzle. Interestingly, such combs decorate only adult crocodiles, they are not observed in young individuals. The predator inspires horror and awe with one of its terrible mouth, studded with rows of strong and large teeth, which it can have from 64 to 68 pieces.
It is interesting! A saltwater crocodile differs from other species of its relatives by small scales on its belly, which does not form into osteoderm (ossification of the skin).
Newborn lizards reach a length of 25-30 cm and weigh 70 kg. Males are considered mature when body length reaches 3 m, and females 2.2 m. Some males can reach 6 m in length and more than a ton in weight, but the average dimensions of an adult individual are approximately 4–5.5 m and weigh 400-900 kg. Females are usually inferior to males in size: their body length is 2.5-3.5 m, and weight - 400-500 kg.
It is interesting! The largest saltwater crocodile of our time was caught in 2011 in the Philippine Islands. The length of his body was 6.17 m, and the reptile weighed 1075 kg.
Underwater crocodile has a strong head and impressive jaws. The body of the predator is covered with small oval scales. Pale yellow color is diluted with dark spots in the area of the tail and torso. After the onset of puberty, the reptile's skin darkens, becoming grayish-green with brown spots. Some specimens become completely dark. The belly has a white or yellow color, the tail is gray with dark stripes.
Description of the species and its features
The ridge crocodile is related to the crocodile family and the genus are real crocodiles. This species is considered to be the largest and most ferocious among their relatives.
Did you know? The most bloody story with the participation of marine crocodiles occurred in 1945 on the island of Ramry. 1000 Japanese soldiers who were taken to the local mangrove swamps were almost completely destroyed by toothed reptiles.
The habitat of marine dinosaurs is quite extensive and includes some areas of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Also, the predator can be found everywhere on the coast of East India, as well as Southeast Asia. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and New Guinea were also enjoyed by crocodiles. However, the largest accumulation of these reptiles is observed in Northern Australia. Due to the ability to swim quickly, these reptiles can reach the Philippine Islands and even Japan, where they are not usually found. Some time ago, a small population of these crocodiles lived in the Seychelles, but now all individuals are exterminated.
Predator's habitat and lifestyle
Sea crocodiles live in both fresh and salt water (most often they choose fresh water bodies). Oceans, rivers, lakes, swamps and even flood meadows can be chosen as the place of residence. Swimming far into the sea, this crocodile easily swims from one bank to another. Feels more comfortable on the deep water.
And although the special glands help to remove salt from the lizard’s body, thereby allowing it to live in seawater, the animal still cannot drink it. Moisture sea lizards get together with food, and sometimes the question of dehydration (especially in young small animals) becomes acute for the crocodile.
Representatives of this species are considered to be single predators. Each of them has its own plot in the pond. In water, their speed can reach about 30 km / h, although usually here they move slowly - 3-5 km / h. In the afternoon, the reptile rests in the coastal thickets or in the water. They hunt in the evening or early morning.
Dwelling in the open sea, ridged crocodiles are able to drift along the stream, neglecting active movement. This approach allows you to save power for further life. Some crocodiles can even slow down their journey, waiting for the next in the direction they need.
Nevertheless, despite the love of sea odyssey, crocodiles often live in fresh water bodies and rivers, moving downstream during a drought and gradually reaching the mouth. Like all their relatives, the crested crocodiles can feel good only in an area with a tropical warm climate. For this reason, predators can arrange seasonal migrations for the time of the onset of cold weather in their usual area.
The coming mating season is an excellent reason for the males to try their hand at “enchanting” females. To do this, they take characteristic techniques: croaking sounds, various movements and gestures. Some time after mating, the female builds in the sand and lays there 40 to 60 eggs. After about 100 days, young babies are born, which the female carefully transports to the water in her mouth. Toothy mother stays next to the young for several months, teaching them and caring for him.
What eats the comby crocodile
The basis of the rye crocodile ration consists of fish, birds and mammals of various sizes. An adult individual is quite capable of killing antelope, buffalo, cow and other horned.
They can also hunt such animals:
- boars, etc.
Cubs of saltwater crocodile feed on clams, fish, insects.
Did you know? Saltwater crocodiles are cannibals. In case of lack of food, they can have their relatives or cubs for lunch.
A crocodile does not always eat large prey at a time. Tightening it to a depth, the lizards mask the carcass under a stone or snag so that the “body” does not float to the surface. After some time, when the meat begins to decompose and soften, the predator can begin to eat. However, such a tactic does not always justify itself, as the prey caught by the crocodile may fall to another water predator.
The crocodile hunting technique is considered standard - hiding in the water, the predator waits for the victim, then unexpectedly attacks it. Беспомощное животное сбивается с ног ударом мощного хвоста или же захватывается челюстями крокодила. После этого ящер тащит добычу в воду, покуда та не захлебнется.
К сведению! Гребнистый крокодил признан наиболее опасным для людей. Ежегодное число человеческих жертв, ставших его добычей, может превышать 2 000. Чаще всего нападения встречаются у берегов Австралии.
Продолжительность жизни рептилий
The underwater crocodile is listed in the Red Book, since at the end of the last century the population was on the verge of destruction. Valuable crocodile skin made them desirable prey for hunters and poachers. To date, laws have been passed restricting the catch of these animals. Also crested crocodiles are bred on special farms in India.
Due to the continuous growth of cartilage, the crocodile grows in size throughout its life. At the same time, this predator is considered a long-liver able to live 60-80 years.
Sea crocodiles are predatory reptiles of impressive size. They live in countries with tropical climates, but are able to travel at different distances. These animals are considered extremely dangerous to humans.
Description of the comby crocodile
The ridge crocodile, which is also called the saltwater crocodile, the man-eating crocodile or the Indo-Pacific crocodile, belongs to the family of true crocodiles. The ancestors of these huge reptiles, having appeared on the supercontinent of Gondwana, survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction that destroyed dinosaurs and, having evolved, gave rise to a genus of modern crested crocodiles.
An adult comby crocodile has a rather wide and squat torso, turning into a very long tail that makes up approximately 55% of the entire reptile body length. Because of the massiveness of the body, supporting relatively short, powerful and strong limbs, the ridged crocodile was mistakenly considered as a type of alligators for a long time, but later, after a series of studies, scientists still attributed this species to the family and the genus of true crocodiles.
These reptiles have a rather large head and strong and powerful wide jaws, while in adult males of this species, the jaws are more massive than in younger male individuals. The number of teeth in this animal can reach up to 64-68 pieces.
This crocodile got its name for the two crests present on the muzzle of adult animals. The purpose of these "jewelry" is not known exactly, but there are suggestions that the ridges are needed to protect the reptile's eyes from damage during diving. In order for a crocodile to be able to see under water, its eyes are equipped with special blink membranes.
The scales have an oval shape, it is small, and, thanks to this, the comby crocodile can move more freely and quickly. As the crocodile matures, its face is covered with a network of deep wrinkles and mounds.
The color of individuals of this species depends on their age and their habitat. Young combed crocodiles have a yellowish-brown basic color of the skin, on which there are black stripes or spots. After a few years, this color becomes duller, and the stripes look a little more vague, but they never completely blur or disappear. Adult reptiles have a light brownish or grayish basic color, and their belly is very light: white or yellowish. The lower part of the tail is usually colored gray with dark stripes. Also, among the representatives of this species of reptiles, sometimes there are individuals with a weakened or, conversely, darkened color.
The size of the comby crocodile
The length of the body can reach 6-7 meters, although, usually, there are smaller animals, whose dimensions are 2.5-3 meters in length. Weight usually ranges from 300 to 700 kg. There are especially large combed crocodiles, whose weight reaches 1 ton.
Dumpling crocodiles are one of the largest predatory animals on Earth. They are inferior in size only to certain species of toothed whales and sharks. The weight of the head of a large male of this species alone can be 200 kg.
The largest crested crocodile, which was caught alive and kept in captivity - a reptile named Lolong, caught in 2011 in the Philippines, had a body length of 6.17 meters and weighed 1075 kg. During the capture, he 4 times tore steel cables that can withstand 6-12 tons, and in order to get him out of the water, almost a hundred people had to spend all night.
Character and way of life
Unlike many other species of reptiles, the comby crocodile is a very intelligent, cunning and dangerous animal. It often chooses large mammals as its victims, and sometimes even humans.
A ridge is the only Eurasian crocodile that can live in both fresh and salt water.
This animal, preferring to live alone or not too large flocks, during the search for prey or relocation to a new habitat, can be removed at a considerable distance from the coast. The saltwater crocodile is so dangerous a predator that even sharks, which are food competitors of these reptiles, are afraid of it.
The amount of time spent in the sea by the ridge crocodile can be judged by the number of shells and algae that have time to grow on his skin. Taking advantage of ocean currents during their migrations, these reptiles can travel great distances. Thus, some individuals of this species migrate over a distance of hundreds of kilometers, often swimming in the open ocean.
By river systems, these reptiles can also migrate quite far.
Due to the fact that these reptiles do not tolerate high temperatures well, in the heat, crested crocodiles prefer to hide in the water or, if they stay on land, they go to heavily shaded places where it is cooler. When the temperature drops to uncomfortable, the individuals of this species climb on the stones heated by the sun and, thus, are heated.
With each other, these reptiles communicate with the help of barking sounds of different tonality. While grooming females, the males emit a low, muffled grunt.
These reptiles are not as social as other types of crocodiles. They are highly aggressive and very territorial.
Most individuals have their own personal territory. Females settle in freshwater bodies of water, where each of them occupies a site from about 1 km and protects it from the invasion of its rivals. In males, however, possession is much more: they include the personal territories of several females and a reservoir with fresh water suitable for breeding.
Males diligently protect their possessions from rivals, and if they cross the border of their territory, they often engage in mortal combat, ending in the death or serious injury of one of the opponents. Crocodiles-males relate to females much more loyally: they not only do not conflict with them, but sometimes even share their prey with them.
The comby crocodiles are not afraid of people, but they attack only those who were careless and approached them too closely or provoked them.
The females of the comby crocodile are much smaller than the males: they can be half the length, and their weight can be ten times lighter. The jaws of females are narrower and not so massive, and the body shape is not as powerful as that of males.
The color of the representatives of this species depends not so much on the sex as on the age and on the chemical composition of the water in the water bodies where they live.
Due to the ability of the combed crocodile to travel long distances across the sea, this reptile has the largest habitat of all crocodiles. This species is distributed over a wide area, ranging from central Vietnam, the coast of Southeast Asia, eastern India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, northern Australia and New Guinea. It is also found on the islands of the Malay Archipelago, in the vicinity of the island of Borneo, on the Karolinskiye, Solomonny Islands and Vanuatu Island. Previously lived in the Seychelles, but now completely exterminated there. First met on the east coast of Africa and in the south of Japan, but at the present time individuals of this species do not live there.
However, the favorite habitats of these predators are mangrove swamps, deltas and lower reaches of rivers, as well as lagoons.
The diet of the comby crocodile
This reptile is a super-predator occupying the top position in the food chain in the regions where it lives. It happens that it attacks other large predators: sharks and big cats, such as tigers. The diet of cubs consists mainly of insects, small amphibians, crustaceans, small reptiles and fish. Adult individuals are less mobile and not so agile in order to hunt for small prey, therefore, larger and not so fast animals become their victims.
Depending on what part of his habitat a crocodile lives in, he can hunt deer, wild boars, tapirs, kangaroos, Asian antelopes, buffaloes, gaurans, bantengs and other large herbivores. Their prey also includes predators - leopards, bears, dingos, monitor lizards, pythons, and sometimes sharks. They can have a snack and primates - for example, orangutans or other monkey species, and sometimes humans. Do not disdain to eat and crocodiles of others, and even younger animals of their own species.
Individuals living in the sea or in the mouths of rivers prey on large fish, sea snakes, sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins and stingrays, as well as sea birds, if they manage to catch them.
The combed crocodiles do not eat spoiled meat, but they do not disdain carrion: they can often be seen feeding on dead whales near the carcasses.
The diet of females is very diverse: in addition to fairly large animals, it includes small animals, such as crustaceans and small vertebrates.
Reproduction and offspring
The breeding season in these animals comes in the rainy season, when it is not so hot, and the earth is saturated with moisture. The saltwater crocodile is a polygamous reptile: there can be more than 10 females in the male's harem.
Individuals of the female reach sexual maturity at the age of 10-12 years; in males this occurs much later - at the age of 16 years. At the same time, only females that have reached the size of 2.2 meters and males whose body length is not less than 3.2 meters are suitable for breeding.
Before laying from 30 to 90 eggs, the female builds a nest, which is an artificial mound of dirt and leaves, whose height is approximately 1 meter and up to 7 meters in diameter. In order for the nest not to erode the rainwater flow, the female crocodile erects it on a hill. Due to the rotting of the leaves, a constant temperature of approximately 32 degrees is maintained in the crocodile nest.
The sex of the future offspring depends on the temperature in the nest: if it is about 31.6 degrees, then males predominantly hatch. In cases, if there are small deviations from this temperature, then more females are hatched from the eggs.
The incubation period lasts about 3 months, but its duration, depending on temperature, can vary considerably. All this time, the female is close to the nest and protects the clutch from possible predators.
Hatching cubs, whose weight is about 70 grams, and length - 25-30 cm, call their mother with high barking sounds, which helps them to get out of the nest, after which they transfer them to the water in their mouths. Then the female looks after her offspring for 5-7 months and, if necessary, stands up for his defense.
But despite the cares of the mother, survive and reach puberty less than 1% of eggs hatched from cubs.
Grown up, but not yet adult crocodiles often die in battles with older and larger individuals, and some of them become victims of cannibalism by their own relatives.
Adult combed crocodiles have practically no natural enemies. Some of them can become victims of large sharks, and so, besides humans, they have no enemies.
Juveniles, and especially eggs, are more vulnerable. Crocodile nests can be destroyed by monitor lizards and pigs, and freshwater turtles, monitor lizards, herons, ravens, dingos, hawks, felines, large fish hunt small cubs. It happens that youngsters are killed by other, older crocodiles. In the sea, sharks pose a particular danger to young, greasy crocodiles.
Population and species status
At present, crested crocodiles belong to the species that causes the least concern. Their population declined markedly in the 20th century: these reptiles were exterminated in Thailand, and in the south of Vietnam only about 100 of them survived. But the Australian population is quite numerous and consists of 100 000-200 000 crocodiles. Contributes to the large number of livestock of these reptiles and the fact that the crested crocodiles are currently bred on farms.
Currently, trade in live or dead, crested crocodiles, as well as in parts of their bodies, is prohibited if reptiles originate from wild populations with the exception of Australian Indonesian and those located in Papua New Guinea. But for animals that are bred in captivity for commercial purposes, this requirement does not apply, but in this case you will certainly need to obtain permission to export them.
Salty crocodiles are considered one of the largest and most dangerous predators in the world. These huge reptiles, reaching 7 meters in length, live in South Asia, Oceania and Australia. Not to be called cute, however, the fact that these reptiles have successfully survived several mass extinctions and survived to this day almost in their original form, and also the peculiarities of their way of life, the care of their offspring and the ingenuity unusual for most reptiles, make them its interesting and even something cute animals.
Crocodile - description, description, structure, photo.
Crocodiles are one of the few surviving members of a subclass of archosaurs, and their closest relatives are birds that are also descendants or relatives of archosaurs. By the way, dinosaurs were included exactly in the subclass of archosaurs.
Depending on the type of crocodile length is 2-5.5 m, the length of the giant's largest crocodile can reach 7 meters. The weight of a crocodile is 400-700 kg, while the weight of the head of a full-grown male reaches 200 kg. In reptiles, sexual dimorphism is extremely pronounced: males of one species grow 2-2.5 times more than females.
There are 9 vertebrae in the neck of the reptile, and 17 in the body. The long tail of the crocodile consists of 35 or 37 vertebrae and performs steering and motor functions, as well as the function of thermoregulation.
The structure of the reptile body is a vivid example of adaptability to existence in the water element. The flattened head of a crocodile ends in a long muzzle, the body is elongated and flattened, the movable tail is squeezed from the sides. On the sides of the body are short legs. The forelimbs of crocodiles have 5 fingers, the hind ones are distinguished by the absence of a little finger. The fingers are interconnected by membranes. Despite the short paws, even small crocodiles can gallop short distances. The speed of a crocodile on land is 14-17 km / h. In the water, the crocodile reaches speeds of up to 30-35 km / h.
The structure of the skull of a crocodile is similar to a dinosaur and is endowed with two pronounced temporal arcs. The eyes, ears and nostrils are located close to the top of the head. Due to this, the reptile can lie under water, surveying the surroundings, and at the same time fix and smell the prey only with eyes and nostrils facing outwards.
The eyes of a crocodile are distinguished by a vertically slit pupil, a third protective eyelid and the presence of tear glands for rinsing eyes.
The huge mouth of a crocodile has cone-shaped teeth, reaching 5 cm in length. Inside the reptile's teeth are cavities in which young sharp teeth are formed as they grind down. The number of teeth in a crocodile can be from 72 to 100, depending on the type.
The body of a crocodile is covered with skin consisting of rectangular horn flaps, arranged in precise rows. Under the dorsal shields, and sometimes under the belly, skin ossifications of small size are formed, forming a kind of shell. The abdomen is protected by abdominal ribs, anatomically separated from the spine. Depending on the range and species, crocodile skin can be dark brown, almost black, gray-brown, dirty green or sandy.
The heart of the crocodile is four-chamber, and in the blood of the reptile there are effective antibiotics that prevent infection in case of injuries or from dirty water. Thick-walled, muscular stomach contains gastroliths - special stones that contribute to the grinding of food and give a long body balance when swimming.
Crocodiles grow throughout life due to the constant growth of cartilage tissue in the bones. In nature, crocodiles live, on average, 80-100 years.
In general, crocodiles have no enemies, but some animals and birds (monitor lizards, turtles, herons, and some mammals) eat the eggs of crocodiles.
Crocodiles can jump, and they jump high, grabbing their victim with their teeth
Crocodile tears, or why crocodiles cry.
There is a legend that a crocodile eats prey and cries on it with crocodile tears. In fact, crocodiles do not cry out of pity. The fact is that crocodiles have special tear glands that remove excess salt from the body. Therefore, crocodile tears - it's just a reaction of the body, which saves the reptile from the excess salt. Also, salt glands are located in the language of the crocodile.
Бабочка пьет крокодиловы слезы
Где обитают крокодилы?
Крокодилы живут практически во всех странах с теплым и влажным климатом тропиков. Рептилия обитает в Африке и на Филиппинских островах, встречается в Японии и Гватемале, на Бали и на севере Австралии, в водоемах Южной и Северной Америки.
В основном, крокодилы обитают в пресных водоемах, проводя в воде большую часть суток. Но благодаря отличному солевому обмену крокодилы живут даже в сильно соленой морской воде без ущерба для здоровья. Sea crocodiles, such as the pointed and crested, live in the coastal part of the seas.
All kinds of crocodiles are typical semi-aquatic animals: they live in reservoirs, but they lay eggs on land. Spending most of the day in the water, predators come ashore early in the morning or in the afternoon, the most favorable time for sunbathing.
A crocodile is a cold-blooded animal, and its body temperature depends on the environment. Osteoderms (bone plates) of reptiles, located under the horn flaps of the crocodile shell, serve as batteries that accumulate solar heat. Therefore, the fluctuation of body temperature during the day usually does not exceed 1-2 degrees.
In extreme heat, crocodiles open their mouths to evaporate water, and small birds peck at pieces of food and leeches stuck between their teeth.
In a drought, a crocodile can hibernate, sitting in a hole dug at the bottom of a drying reservoir. Usually, crocodiles do not go far from the water, but if necessary they can overcome several kilometers on foot or not too zealous at a gallop, reaching a speed of 17 km / h
What do crocodiles eat?
Crocodile food depends on the size of a particular individual: the larger the reptile, the more diverse its menu. The basis of food is made up of various species of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, water birds, bats flying above the water, snakes and lizards, including poisonous amphibians, for example, the toad aga.
In sea water, the crocodile eats fish, dolphins, turtles, pylorus stingrays, and even sharks, including white, the size of which is not inferior, and often exceeds the length of the attacking crocodile. Especially diverse menu, consisting of mammals. A successful hunt brings a crocodile for dinner python, monitor lizard, wild boar, antelope, buffalo or deer.
Hyenas, cheetahs, leopards and lions are often the prey of the crocodile. Also, crocodiles eat monkeys, porcupines, kangaroos, hares, raccoons, martens and mongooses. If possible, have a bite to eat will not give up the attack on any pets, whether it be chicken, horse or cattle. Some crocodiles eat each other, that is, do not stop to attack their own kind.
How does a crocodile hunt?
Most of the day crocodiles spend in the water, and hunt only after dark. Reptile small prey swallows whole. In a duel with a large victim, crocodile weapons are brute force. Large land animals, such as deer and buffaloes, the crocodile guard at the watering place, attacks suddenly and drags them into the water, where the victim is unable to offer resistance. Large fish, by contrast, drags in shallow water, where it is easier to deal with prey.
The massive jaws of a crocodile easily crush the skull of a buffalo, and strong jerks of the head and a special technique of "deadly rotation" instantly tear the prey to pieces. Crocodiles do not know how to chew, therefore, having killed the victim, they unscrew pieces of suitable flesh with powerful jaws and swallow them whole. Crocodiles eat quite a lot: one dinner can make up to 23% of the mass of the predator itself. Often, crocodiles hide part of the prey, but not always the stock remains intact, and is often used by other predators.
Crocodile caught a shark
What is the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
- The crocodile belongs to the crocodile family, the alligator belongs to the alligator family. At the same time, both reptiles belong to the order crocodiles.
- The main difference between a crocodile and an alligator is in the structure of the jaw and the location of the teeth. When the crocodile's mouth is closed, one or a pair of teeth on the lower jaw always stick outwards, and in the alligator, the upper jaw completely covers the predatory grin.
- Also, the difference between the crocodile and alligator is in the structure of the muzzle. The crocodile's muzzle is pointed and has the shape of an English letter V, the alligator has a dull muzzle and more closely resembles the letter U.
- Crocodiles have saline glands in the tongue and tear glands in the eyes to remove excessive salt accumulation from the body, so they can live in the sea. Alligators do not have such glands, so they mostly live in freshwater bodies.
- If you compare the size of a crocodile and an alligator, it is difficult to say which of the reptiles is larger. The average length of the alligator does not exceed the average length of the crocodile. But if to compare the largest individuals, the American (Mississippi) alligator has a maximum body length of not more than 4.5 meters (according to unofficial data, the only maximum fixed length of one individual was 5.8 meters). And the world's largest crescent crocodile with an average body length of 5.2 meters can grow up to 7 meters in length.
- The average weight of the Mississippi alligator (it is larger than the Chinese one) is 200 kg, while the maximum recorded weight reached 626 kg. The average weight of a crocodile depends on the species. And yet some types of crocodiles weigh much more alligators. For example, the weight of an acute crocodile reaches 1 ton, and the world's largest comb-shaped crocodile weighs about 2 tons.
What is the difference between a crocodile and a gavial?
- Both crocodile and gavial belong to the order of crocodiles. But the crocodile is part of the crocodile family, and gavial belongs to the gavial family.
- The crocodile has salt glands located on the tongue and special lacrimal glands in the eye area: through them, excess salts are removed from the body of the crocodile. This factor allows the crocodile to dwell in salty sea water. Gavial does not possess such glands, therefore, is a resident of absolutely fresh reservoirs.
- The crocodile is easily distinguished from gavial in the shape of the jaws: the gavial has rather narrow jaws, which is justified only by hunting fish. The crocodile is the owner of wider jaws.
- Gavial has more teeth than a crocodile, but they are much smaller and thinner: gavialu need such sharp and thin teeth to hold tenantly caught fish in the mouth. Depending on the species, the crocodile has 66 or 68 teeth, but the gavial boasts hundreds of sharp teeth.
- Another difference between a crocodile and a gavial: of the entire family of crocodiles, only gavial spends maximum time in the water, leaving the reservoir only for laying eggs and basking in the sun for a bit. The crocodile is in water bodies about a third of its life, preferring the water space overland.
- Crocodiles and gavials differ only slightly in size. Males gaviala usually have a body length of 3-4.5 meters, rarely reach 5.5 meters in length. Crocodiles are not far behind their counterparts - the length of an adult male varies in the range of 2-5.5 meters. Nevertheless, experienced males of some species of crocodiles often reach 7 meters in length. With regard to weight, the crocodiles in this round win: the comby crocodile can reach a mass of 2000 kg, and the Ganga gavial has a modest weight of 180-200 kg.
What is the difference between a crocodile and a caiman?
- Although crocodiles and caimans belong to the order of crocodiles, caimans belong to the alligator family, and crocodiles belong to the crocodile family.
- The external differences between the crocodile and the caiman are as follows: the crocodiles are distinguished by a pointed V-shaped snout, the Caimans are distinguished by a dull and wide U-shaped muzzle.
- Another difference between reptiles is that the crocodiles on the language are special salt glands. Through them, as well as through the lacrimal glands, crocodiles get rid of excess salt, therefore, they feel equally good in both fresh and salt water. Caymans do not have this feature, therefore, with rare exceptions, they live only in clean fresh water bodies.
Types of crocodiles: names, description, list and photo.
The modern classification divides the squad of crocodiles into 3 families, 8 genera and 24 species.
Family of real crocodiles(lat. Crocodylidae). Some of its varieties are of particular interest:
- Saltwater crocodile (saltwater crocodile)(lat. Crocodylus porosus) - the largest crocodile in the world, a mega-predator, firmly established on the top of the food chain. Other names of this reptile are underwater crocodile, man-eating crocodile, salt, mouth and Indo-Pacific crocodile. The length of the combed crocodile can reach 7 meters and weigh up to 2 tons. The species acquired its name thanks to 2 massive bone ridges passing along the snout from the edge of the eyes. The appearance of the crocodile is dominated by pale yellow-brown colors, and dark stripes and spots are visible on the body and tail. A lover of salt water is a typical inhabitant of rivers flowing into the ocean, and also lives in marine lagoons. Saltwater crocodiles often live on the high seas and are found on the northern Australian coast, in Indonesia, the Philippines, India and off the coast of Japan. Crocodile food is any prey that a predator can catch. It can be large land animals: buffaloes, leopards, grizzlies, antelopes, pythons, monitor lizards. Crocodile prey also often includes medium-sized mammals: wild boars, tapirs, dingos, kangaroos, many species of monkeys, including orangutans. Domestic animals can also become prey: goats, sheep, horses, pigs, dogs and cats. Waterfowl species, as well as sea and freshwater turtles, dolphins, rays and many species of sharks, fall from birds into the mouth of the ridged crocodile. Young crocodiles feed on aquatic invertebrates, frogs, insects and small fish. More adult individuals freely eat poisonous reed toads, large fish and crustaceans. Occupying crocodiles, on occasion, practice cannibalism, not losing the opportunity to eat small or weak representatives of their own species.
- Stupid crocodile(lat. Osteolaemus tetraspis) - This is the smallest crocodile in the world. The body length of an adult individual is only 1.5 meters. The male weighs about 80 kg, the female crocodile weighs about 30-35 kg. The color of the reptile's back is black, the belly is yellow, with black spots. Unlike other types of crocodiles, the reptile has a skin well-armored with solid growths, which compensates for the lack of growth. Stunted crocodiles live in freshwater waters of West Africa, fearful and secretive, are nocturnal. They feed on fish, snails and carrion.
- Nile crocodile(lat. Crocodylus niloticus) - the largest reptile of the family after the combed crocodile, lives in Africa. The average body length of males is from 4.5 to 5.5 meters, and the male crocodile weight reaches almost 1 ton. The color of the crocodile is gray or light brown, with dark stripes on the back and tail. The reptile is one of the 3 species found in African countries and unparalleled in the water element. Even on land, the conflict arising from the prey, for example, with the lions, is to “pull the rope”, and the winner all the same goes to the crocodile. The Nile crocodile is a typical inhabitant of rivers, lakes and swamps located to the south of the Sahara Desert, including the Nile River basin. The Nile crocodile eats fish: Nile perch, tilapia, black mullet, African pike and numerous representatives of the carp. As well as mammals: antelopes, water goats, gazelles, oryx, warthogs, chimpanzees and gorillas. Often all kinds of domesticated animals become prey of a crocodile. Particularly large individuals attack buffalo, giraffe, hippo, rhinoceros and young African elephants. Young Nile crocodiles eat amphibians: African toad, changeable sturgeon and goliath frog. The young feed on insects (crickets, grasshoppers), crabs and other invertebrates.
- Siamese crocodile(lat. Crocodylus siamensis) has a body length of up to 3-4 m. The color of the crocodile is olive-green, sometimes it is dark green. The weight of the male reaches 350 kg, the weight of the females is 150 kg. This type of crocodile is listed as endangered in the Red Book. Today, the population has no more than 5 thousand individuals. The species range covers the countries of southeastern Asia: Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and is also found on the island of Kalimantan. The main food source of Siamese crocodiles are various species of fish, amphibians, small reptiles. In rare cases, the crocodile feeds on rodents and carrion.
- Pointed crocodile(lat. Crocodylus acutus) - The most common representative of the family. The look is distinguished by a narrow, characteristically pointed muzzle. Adult males grow up to 4 m in length, females up to 3 m. The weight of a crocodile is 500-1000 kg. The color of the crocodile is greyish or greenish-brown. Crocodiles live in swampy areas, rivers, and also fresh and salt lakes in North and South America. Sharp crocodiles eat most species of freshwater and saltwater fish. A significant part of the diet consists of birds: pelicans, flamingos, herons, storks. At certain intervals, crocodiles eat sea turtles and livestock. Young reptiles eat crabs, snails, as well as insects and their larvae.
- Australian narrowcrocodile (lat. Crocodylus johnstoni) is a freshwater reptile and is small in size: males grow no more than 3 meters in length, females up to 2 meters. The animal has an uncharacteristically narrow crocodile snout. The color of the reptile is brown with black stripes on the back and tail of the crocodile. A population of about 100 thousand individuals inhabits freshwater bodies of the northern part of Australia. The Australian narrow-necked crocodile eats mainly fish. A small part of the diet of adults is amphibians, waterfowl, snakes, lizards and small mammals.
Alligator family (Lat. Alligatoridae), in which the subfamily alligators and subfamily Caiman are distinguished. The following species belong to this family:
- Mississippi Alligator (American Alligator)(lat. Alligator mississippiensis) - A large reptile (reptile), whose males grow to 4.5 m in length with a body weight of about 200 kg. Unlike the crocodile, the American alligator endures cold and can winter, freezing its body into ice and leaving only the nostrils on the surface. These alligators live in freshwater bodies of North America: dams, swamps, rivers and lakes. The Mississippi (American) alligator, unlike crocodiles, rarely attacks large animals. Adult alligators feed on fish, waterfowl, water snakes and turtles; mammals eat nutria, muskrats and raccoons. Alligator cubs eat worms, spiders, snails, as well as insects and their larvae. Some alligators do not have a sufficient amount of melanin pigment and are albinos. True, a white crocodile is rarely found in nature.
White Crocodile (albino)
- Chinese alligator (lat. Alligator sinensis) - A small species of alligators, which is also a rare species. Only 200 individuals live in nature. The color of the alligator is yellow-gray, with black spots on the lower jaw. The average length of the alligator is 1.5 meters, the maximum reaches 2.2 meters. The weight of the predator is 35-45 kg. Alligators live in China, in the Yangtze River Basin. They feed on small birds and mammals, fish, snakes, mollusks.
- Crocodile (spectacled) caiman(lat. Caiman crocodilus) —Relatively small alligator with body length up to 1.8-2 m and weighing up to 60 kg. This type of crocodile is distinguished by a narrow muzzle and a characteristic bone growth between the eyes, which is shaped like glasses. The little caiman has a yellow body with black spots, an adult crocodile has an olive-green skin. The reptile has the widest range of alligators. Cayman lives in low-lying, stagnant reservoirs with fresh or salt water from Mexico and Guatemala to the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. Because of its small size, the caiman feeds on mollusks, small fish, freshwater crabs, and also small reptiles and mammals. Mature individuals occasionally attack large amphibians and snakes, for example, anaconda, as well as wild boars and even other caimans.
- Black caiman(lat. Melanosuchus niger) - one of the largest reptiles. The body length of a full-grown male can exceed 5.5 m, and body weight can be more than 500 kg. From the eyes, along the entire length of the muzzle, there is a pronounced bone ridge, typical of all Caimans. The modern population, consisting of about 100 thousand individuals, lives in large rivers and lakes in South America. Adult black caimans eat large amounts of fish, including piranhas, as well as turtles and snakes. But the bulk of the food is made up of mammals: deer, capybaras, bakers, coati, sloths, monkeys, armadillos, river dolphins, Brazilian otters. In some areas of the range, habitual reptile food is a variety of domestic animals, including cattle. Young caimans eat snails, frogs and small species of fish.
Gavial family (Latin Gavialidae) consists of several genera and only 2 modern species:
- Ganga gavial(lat. Gavialis gangeticus) - a large representative of the detachment with a body growing to 6 meters in length. Gavialy, unlike real crocodiles, have a lighter constitution, therefore the weight of an adult individual, in general, does not exceed 200 kg. Gavialov is characterized by a characteristicly narrow jaws, conveniently adapted for fishing, as well as the maximum number of teeth - up to 100 pieces. Gavialy inhabit the pools and tribes of the rivers of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The species is listed as especially rare in the Red Book, completely destroyed in Bhutan and Myanmar. Благодаря преимущественно водному образу жизни гангский гавиал питается в основном рыбой. Особо крупные особи изредка нападают на мелких млекопитающих и с удовольствием поедают падаль. Детеныши пресмыкающихся довольствуются беспозвоночными животными.
- Гавиаловый крокодил(лат. Tomistoma schlegelii) — ближайший родственник гавиала, с такой же длинной, узкой мордой и гигантскими размерами. Длина тела крокодила может превышать 6 метров, но в среднем достигает не более 5 метров. The color of the crocodile is chocolate brown with stripes on the body. The weight of the crocodile varies from 93 kg in females to 210 kg in males. This species of reptile has an endangered status. A small population of crocodiles, consisting of 2.5 thousand individuals, lives in shallow, swampy rivers and lakes of Indonesia and Malaysia. Gavial crocodile, in contrast to the closest relative - the Gangetic gavial, uses fish, shrimps and small vertebrates only partially. Despite the narrow snout, the basis of the predator's diet are pythons and other snakes, monitor lizards, turtles, monkeys, wild pigs, deer and otters.
Reproduction of crocodiles. How do crocodiles breed?
The ability to fertilize crocodiles reach the age of 8-10 with a body length of 2.5 meters in males and 1.7 meters in females. The breeding season of crocodiles of southern species occurs in the winter months, northern crocodiles lay eggs in autumn.
At the beginning of the mating season, the males announce the surroundings with a draft roar that attracts females and slap their faces with water. During mating games, the couple rubs their heads and “sings” peculiar “songs” to each other. A female crocodile builds a nest on sand banks in close proximity to the shore or in dry river beds. A crocodile female lays from 20 to 85 eggs into a hole about half a meter deep, bury them with sand and protects them throughout the incubation period, which lasts about 3 months.
Despite the care of both parents, only 10% of eggs remain in the clutch. In moments when the mother leaves to cool off in the water, or briefly hide from the scorching sun, other predators or humans can destroy the crocodile's nest.
Small crocodiles hatch and make sounds similar to chirping. Then the mother breaks the sand and carries the cubs closer to the pond in her own mouth. Sometimes parents squeeze eggs between the tongue and the sky, helping children to be born.
The sex of newborn crocodiles is determined by the temperature in the nest during incubation. If the sand is heated in the range of 32 to 34.5 degrees, males are born. The temperature above or below this mark determines the appearance of female individuals into the world.
Crocodile cubs have a body length of 30 cm and initially develop rapidly. They are surrounded by maternal care for 2 years, after which the offspring matured and stretched to 1-1.2 m are transferred to an independent existence.
The content of crocodiles in captivity.
Crocodiles live long and breed well in captivity, but absolutely can not be trained. Today, some extreme and exotic lovers are trying to keep crocodiles at home, building them enclosures and swimming pools. Unfortunately, often such attempts end with either the death of a predator as a result of improper care, or rather tragic security situations of the owners. If we even talk about the content of crocodiles in an unnatural environment for them, then the most suitable option would be a good zoo, where experts take care of reptiles.