Written by chelsea

Modified & Updated: 30 Dec 2023

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

crocodile facts

  1. Crocodile belongs to the family Crocodylidae.
  2. They are members of the Reptilian order.
  3. There are 23 different species of crocodiles.
  4. A crocodile has a lifespan of 35 to 75 years.
  5. Crocodiles are found in Africa, Asia, America, and Australia.
  1. Crocodiles are semi-aquatic. Their natural habitat is wetland areas such as freshwater rivers or lakes.
  2. Crocodiles are carnivorous animals and very good hunters.
  3. The largest crocodile is the saltwater crocodile. It measures up to 23 feet.
  4. The smallest crocodile is the dwarf crocodile at 4.9 feet.
  5. The dwarf crocodile is the lightest crocodile at 40 pounds.
  6. The saltwater crocodile is the heaviest at 2000 pounds.
  7. Crocodiles have a fantastic night vision.
  8. They have the most acidic stomach of any vertebrate.
  9. Crocodiles typically only eat 50 meals a year.
  10. They can go through 4000 teeth over a lifetime.
  1. Crocodiles can prey upon large mammals such as hippos, sharks, or smaller elephants.
  2. They can sleep with one eye wide open.
  3. They can hold their breath underwater for more than an hour.
  4. Crocodiles kill about 1000 humans per year worldwide.
  5. Crocodile skin is highly prized and valuable, especially in tribal societies.
Table of Contents

Crocodile Facts Infographics

Crocodile Facts Infographics

Crocodiles are the biggest reptiles on Earth.

Saltwater crocodiles are the biggest reptiles in the world. They can weigh 2200 to 2600 pounds and grow up to 7.0 meters (23 feet).

brown salt water crocodile
Photo by Jan Zikán on Unsplash

They swallow small stones to improve digestion.

Swallowing stones known as ‘gastroliths’ is beneficial for crocodiles that eat their prey whole or for animals with shells and bones. Gastroliths help grind the food in their stomachs. These stones can remain inside the crocodile’s stomach for years.

A crocodile's bite is the strongest bite of any animal in the world.

The jaw of a human only produces 100 pounds of pressure per square inch. In comparison, our crocodile facts tell us that a crocodile’s jaws can apply 5000 pounds of pressure per square inch. Its bite is ten times more powerful compared to a great white shark. But despite this, their muscles to open the jaw are extremely small and weak that a human can use his or her hands or just a rubber band to close the crocodile’s mouth.

Crocodiles are excellent swimmers.

Crocodiles are extremely fast in the water. They can swim up to a speed of 35 kilometers per hour (22 mph). They use their webbed feet as rudders to steer and their powerful tails to propel themselves through water. Their tails also help them stand upright in water for as long as three hours.

swimming crocodile
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

Crocodiles and alligators have distinct differences.

Alligators and crocodiles are distant relatives. Some people might confuse them with each other, but there’s a way to tell which is which. By looking carefully, one can see that they have very different mouths. All teeth are visible on a crocodile’s jaw even when it is shut. In comparison, the alligator’s teeth are not visible when their mouth is closed. They also have wider, U-shaped snouts, while crocodiles have more pointed and V-shaped ones.

They often sleep with their mouths wide open.

Do not panic if you see a crocodile with its mouth open. Most people automatically assume that they are in immediate danger once they see a crocodile out of the water with its mouth open. But in reality, they open their mouths, which is known as “mouth gaping” to simply cool off. Crocodiles do not sweat so they will sit or lie with their mouth open to release heat. It might look scary, but they are not really displaying aggression.

Dinosaurs and crocodiles are actually related.

Although crocodiles are classified as reptiles, they are more closely related to dinosaurs and birds. The first crocodile-like species appeared on Earth around 240 million years ago. It was around the same time as the dinosaur. The early crocodile was only around three feet and stood (and ran) on two feet instead of four. They have shorter forelimbs than hind limbs.

The phrase "crocodile tears" really applies to crocodiles and humans.

The expression to cry “crocodile tears” means a false display of emotion or insincerity. It is actually derived from crocodiles appearing to weep while eating their prey. This is because as they chew, the air gets pushed through their sinuses into their tear ducts and leaks from their eyes, making it look like they’re actually crying. Crocodiles’ eyes water because of the hisses and huffs during feeding, but not with remorse. And that’s where we got the notion of crocodile tears from.

99% of all young crocodiles are eaten in their first year of life.

Most young crocodiles have a very high infant mortality rate. In their first year of life, 99% of them are eaten by other predators like adult crocodiles, hyenas, lizards, and even fish. Unfortunately, crocodile eggs are also considered a delicacy by some humans.

They have 24 very sharp teeth but they never use it to chew food.

Crocodile teeth
Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

Even though crocodiles have 24 very sharp teeth in their mouths, they very rarely use them to chew their food. They use their teeth to grab hold of, grasp, and crush their prey or food instead. The small stones they swallow enter their stomachs and grind food up for them. In addition, their jaws can exert a tremendous amount of pressure when they close but need little to keep them shut.

A crocodile's heart has four chambers.

It is the same as most types of birds and will behave in the same way as those of other mammals when they are on dry land. But when the crocodile is entering water, swimming, jumping, or diving, its heart behaves like a three-chambered organ. This is similar to other reptiles, enabling them to stay underwater for longer periods.

Their eyes, ears, and nose are always high in their skulls.

The reason for this is so they can be almost totally submerged in water, yet still able to breathe, hear and see. When crocodiles are submerged in water, a protective membrane will surround their eyes, almost like swimming goggles protecting our eyes when we swim. The purpose of this is so they can continue to see underwater. Crocodiles also have a keen sense of smell and their brains have large olfactory lobes that aid this sense all the more.

The temperature of a crocodile egg can determine its gender.

If the temperature of the egg in there is 88.8 Fahrenheit, a male crocodile will develop. If it is either above or below this temperature, then a female crocodile will hatch.

Baby crocodiles can make noises from inside their eggs before they hatch.

Another interesting thing about crocodiles is that baby crocodiles alert their mothers to the fact that they are ready to hatch properly. Often buried in sand, the baby will make small noises from within the shell of the egg, which the mother will hear. The mother crocodile will then dig up the eggs from the sand, defend the babies until they hatch, and take them to the river where they’ll be able to feed off insects in the water.

three crocodiles
Photo by Kyaw Tun on Unsplash

Crocodiles kill and eat their prey by drowning them.

This is one of the many crocodile facts you will surely find interesting. Typically, crocodiles like to eat rats, snakes, smaller mammals, birds and fish. They will hunt their prey, make a grab for them, and drag them underwater until it drowns them. Crocodiles do this instead of killing them outright. Once the prey is dead, they will bring it up to the surface of the water to consume.

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