Nile Crocodile Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Nile Crocodile

Scientific Name:

Crocodylus niloticus

Wild Status:

Least Concern

Habitat:

Estuaries, Rivers, Lakes, Streams, Wetlands, Marshes

Country:

multiple African countries

Shelter:

Shelter in water, tunnels, dugouts in riverbanks

Life Span:

Up to 100 years

Size:

Up to 16ft long and 1500lbs

Cool Facts:

  • Nile crocodiles mainly feed on fish but are considers apex predators that will feed on almost anything.
  • Both parents take care of their eggs until they hatch, guarding them from predators.
  • The Nile crocodile is the largest crocodilian in Africa, and is only second-largest to the saltwater crocodile.
  • The Nile crocodile is an invasive species in North America, particularly in Florida.
  • Mouth -gaping is necessary for thermoregulation, and is believed to act as a threat display.

Details:

The Nile crocodile is  large crocodile, that can exceed 18 feet in length, including their tail. They have deep olive coloration, with some black blotches along their tails and backs. Their underbelly is pale yellow. Their long tail is laterally compressed and helps them paddle through the water. Their body, particularly their backs and tail are covered in large, rough scales that protect their bodies. Along the sides and tip of their tail, scales are elongated, like blunt spikes. The Nile crocodile's elongated snout is much more pointed, compared to that of an alligator. Some of their upper and lower cone-shaped teeth are visible even when their jaw is shut. Their eyes are small and rest on the top of their head, to remain unsubmerged in the water.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Reptilia Order: Crocodilia Family: Crocodylidae Genus: Crocodylus Species: C. niloticus

Conservation & Helping:

The Nile Crocodile is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List. Nonetheless, as large predators, they are vulnerable to habitat loss, hunting, and pollution. During the 1940s through the 1960s, they were nearly hunted to extinction for their leather. Because of this, regulations have been put place to control the amount of hunting and trading of the Nile crocodile, although regulations vary by region.

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