Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) Fact Sheet, 2010
Species: Crocodylus niloticus - Nile Crocodile
Body Weight: 70-100 kg
Body Length: 2-3.3 m (6.6 -10.8 ft); maximum length snout to tip of tail:
Sexual Dimorphism: Males larger than females.
Other features: Salt glands on tongue secrete salt and help animal adapt to salt water environments.
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: Primarily found in Africa, though native to Madagascar. In Africa, widespread distribution south of the Sahara; absent from the southern tip of Africa.
Habitat: Freshwater lakes, rivers and brackish coastal swamps.
IUCN Status: Least Concern; possibly threatened in some parts of range.
CITES: Appendix I ; ranching allowed in some African Countries (II)
Population in Wild: Estimated c. 250,000-500,000 but figures not reliable.
Activity Cycle: Primarily nocturnal. In daylight, basks in the sun and cools off in the water when necessary.
Locomotion: Avoid travel on land if possible. propulsion in water by tail and body undulations; bottom walk in shallow water. Can "high walk" with legs erect under body, dragging the tail.
Diet: Varies with age. Hatchlings eat insects; adults can eat large prey such as impala, bushbucks, buffalo, young hippos, and even lions.
Interspecies Interactions: Hippos and Nile Crocodiles occupy the same habitats; hippos tend to be more dominant. Common Sandpipers, and several plover species pick ectoparasites from crocodiles.
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Courtship: Elaborate rituals in water with males displaying to females; one to five months' interval between mating and nesting.
Nesting: Colonial nesting; during dry season, female digs hole in sand near the water. Mother buries and guards eggs.
Clutch Size: 55-60 eggs
Inter-clutch Interval: 1-2 clutches per year
Incubation: 80-90 daysGrowth: Young grow c. 30 cm/yr (1 ft/yr); growth slows to 2.5 cm/yr (1 in/yr) for old crocodiles
Sexual Maturity: 12 -19 yrs. in wild.
Longevity: long lived; survive 50-80 years in the wild.
|Crocodiles independently evolved a four chambered heart, as did birds and mammals but it can also function as three-chambered to save oxygen when submerged.|
About This Fact Sheet
© 2015 San Diego Zoo Global. Updated January 2010.
How to cite: Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) Fact Sheet, 2014. c2014. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/nile_crocodile.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)
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