Nile crocodile

Species profile

Name: the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is a large crocodile native to freshwater habitats in Africa.

Appearance: Nile crocodiles are similar in appearance to other crocodile species. Typically their skin is a dark bronze colour with black spots and stripes across their backs, and their stomachs are yellow.

Size: Nile crocodiles are the largest freshwater predator in Africa and the second-largest reptile in the world after the saltwater crocodile. They typically reach up to 5 m long and weigh 750 kg, although some have been recorded at a whopping 6.1 m and 1,100 kg.

Diet: they are a very aggressive species of crocodile that are capable of taking almost any animal within their range. Their varied diet includes fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Nile crocodiles are ambush predators that can wait for hours, days, or even weeks for a suitable moment to attack. Like other crocodiles, they have an extremely powerful bite that is almost impossible to loosen. They use their bite to hold their prey underwater until it drowns.

Did you know: Nile crocodiles are relatively social crocodiles. They share basking spots and food sources such as schools of fish and large carcasses. Their strict crocodile hierarchy is determined by size. Large, old males are at the top and have first access to food and the best basking spots. Most crocodiles tend to respect this order although when it is infringed, the results are often violent and sometimes fatal.

Location: they are widely distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, occurring mostly in the central, eastern, and southern regions. Nile crocodiles live in a range of aquatic environments including lakes, rivers, swamps, and marshlands. While they are capable of living in saline environments, they are rarely found in saltwater.

Where to see Nile crocodiles

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see Nile crocodiles in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Kruger
South Africa
100%
very high
5.0
very good
2
reports
Nairobi National Park
Kenya
100%
very high
4.0
very good
2
reports

Photo credit: miniformat65 under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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