THE CROCODILIAN DIET Opportunistic killers Essentially, croc’s eat whatever they can come by or is most plentiful in thier habitat range. Known to eat mammals, birds, reptiles and fish; they are also known to eat each other (given the rare occasion). (Bob Strauss, Sept, 29 2011)
CONTINUED... Young Croc’s diet consists solely of fish, crabs and small birds. Primarily consume predatory fish Infrequent hunter of larger mammals and even less frequent is its killing of humans.
THE HUNT CONTINUES... Most crocs hunt fish by herding them towards the shallower banks of a river using its body and tail, then consume then with quick jerking sideways jestures of the head. Typically crocodiles have between 64-68 cone shaped teeth. However they are not able to chew due to the prehistoric arrangement of thier teeth.(Supersize Crocs, Nov. 2008)
THE HUNT CONTINUES Swallows their prey whole, or with larger victims it bites through them and then eats them in chunks. Hence the reason croc’s hunt fish and smallers animals primarily becasue it is less work to digest. Crocodiles are also scavengers and will feast on an easy meal (already dead prey) given the chance.
THE CROCODILIAN ANATOMY Unlike most vertebrates, Croc’s have a four chambered heart similar to birds and mammals. Also, they have a two chambered stomach. In one chamber food is grinded up and digested, and the other is used to remove nutrients from the food.(Tom Meding, Oct, 19 2010)
CONTINUED... The crocodilian stomach has the most acidic digestive system of any animal. This allows them to consume and digest bones, horns, as well as shells. The jaw muscle of crocs are extremley strong which allow the to close with incredible force, however, those muscle are remarkably weak wen trying to open the jaw.
CONTINUED... Crocodiles’ tails act as a motor when it comes to swimming providing a main thrust of movement. Because of the shape and structure of the croc’s body, it makes an ―S‖ shape while gliding through water.
CONTINUED... Unlike passive flap-like valves in most vertebrates, crocs contain a teeth-like clog valve triggered by adrenalin. When the croc is calm and relaxed the valve closes, and when the crocs is excited they open. This allows crocs to dive for hours and not have to surface to breathe.
...CONTINUED... The palatal valved (located in the croc’s throat) prevents water from entering the croc’s throat, esophagus, and trachea. A croc’s mouth is not water tight when closed and water easily enterswhen underwater. This allows the croc to open its mouth while underwater. Primarily useful in capturing prey while submerged in water.
THE CROCODILIAN RANGE Crocodiles are found mainly in the lowland, humid tropics of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Occur in most of Africa south of the Sahara, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, the East Indie, Northern Australia, Mexico and Central America, the West Indies, and Northern South America.(Adam Britton, Aug 1 2001)
THE RANGE CONTINUED... Throughout their range, crocodile populations have declined as human occupation and land use change has reduced their habitat. Many crocodilian species have been greatly reduced by overhunting for their valuable skins—which provide leather for handbags, shoes, belts, and other articles.
THE CROCODILIAN BEHAVIOR Crocodiles are mostly nocturnal animals. They are predators and spend most of their time in the water occasionally making trips above water and over land. Many crocodiles vocalize to communicate. Young croc’s use squeaking and grunting sounds, and adults typically use grunts, growls, and hiss sounds.
CONTINUED... Crocodiles can attack very quickly when attempting to catch their prey. There have been cases, in fact, where crocodiles have attacked and killed sharks in the water. Although on rare occasions crocodiles have encounterd and devoured humans, it has occured with such infrequency that we cannot identify the species as ―man-eaters‖.
THE CROCODILIAN ECOLOGY The crocodilian form is adapted to an amphibious way of life. Crocodiles are inhabitants of swamps, lakes, and rivers. Some species (The estuarine or ―saltwater crocodile‖) make their way to brackish water or to the sea.
THE CROCODILIAN REPRODUCTION Crocodiles are sexually dimorphic, and adult males are larger than females. Croc’s signal each other using changes in body profile,as well as, touch, and vocalization. Copulation happens in the water.
CONTINUED... All crocodiles lay hard-shelled eggs, which may weigh 50–160 grams individually. A female lays typically between 12–48 eggs per nest, depending upon her age, size, and species. There are two main types of nesting known to be used by crocodiles.
CONTINUED... Some croc’s dig a hole in the ground, place the eggs in, and re-fill it with dirt. (The Nile Crocodile Region) Others build a mound of plant material and soil, deposit the eggs into the mound, and use the suns heat and the decaying vegitation to help aid the development of the embryo.