Crocodiles, scientifically known as Crocodylinae, are giant reptiles that reside in the tropics of America, Australia, Africa, and Asia. It is less likely for crocodiles to natively live in Europe.
One of the most feared carnivores on the earth was their gigantic size, large, powerful jaws, and aggressive nature; crocodiles are considered the only animal that survived asteroid impact that caused a massive global extinction during the Cretaceous period.
Interesting Crocodile Facts
They survived the mass termination and survived for hundreds of millions of a long time to come. These biggest reptiles have many secrets to unveil.
Let us go through some interesting facts about crocodiles.
1. Crocodile’s Teeth
Crocodiles have between 60-110 teeth. When a crocodile loses a tooth, there is a small replacement already on standby. They can replace each of their 80 teeth up to 50 times over their lifespan of around 35-80 years.
2. Crocodiles are closely related to dinosaurs.
Crocodiles are considered to be closely related to dinosaurs. Both of these creatures belong to the reptile family. They existed during the same period, however, dinosaurs faced mass extinction during the Cretaceous period, as we have mentioned earlier.
However, modern crocodiles haven’t evolved much since about 145–66 million years ago, which means that creatures that were nearly indistinguishable from the ones you’ll see nowadays existed near dinosaurs!
3. Crocodile’s Tear
We often hear the expression “crocodile tears,” which is used when someone says sorry for something but that sorry doesn’t seem genuine. This expression goes back as distant as the 1400s. It is said that crocodiles pretend to be sad after killing their prey and express it in the form of tears.
Researchers, however, don’t believe that crocodiles are capable of emotional intelligence. Yes, they do shed tears while eating, but it’s because they swallow too much air, which gets in touch with lachrymal glands (glands that produce tears) and forces tears to flow, which isn’t actually crying. These facts about the crocodiles justify the metaphor “crocodile’s tears.”
4. Crocodile’s Jaw
Crocodiles, these fierce beasts, have the strongest bite of any other animal on the planet. A crocodile’s jaw can produce 5000 pounds of pressure per inch. This means that they can bite through an arm or a leg with no problem. If we compare, A human’s jaw can only produce 100 pounds of pressure per square inch. A crocodile’s bite is 10 times more powerful than a great white shark’s bite. These facts about crocodiles explain why they are the fiercest creature alive.
But despite this, the crocodile’s jaw has very little opening strength, which means the muscles in their jaw are relatively weak and especially sensitive to touch. It is said that a human can use his or her hands or just a rubber band to hold a crocodile’s mouth shut.
5. Crocodiles don’t chew their food.
Crocodiles don’t chew their food. Their jaw functions in such a way that it cannot move sideways; therefore, they can’t grind down on food in a traditional chewing motion. They rip apart flesh and swallow large pieces of meat. They sometimes swallow stones (known as ‘gastroliths’) which serves them well as they eat the whole of their prey. It ensures fast grinding of the food in their stomach. A gastrolith can reside inside the stomach for years.
6. Crocodile often keep their jaws open
Have you noticed that crocodiles usually keep their jaws wide open? Crocodiles do not have sweat glands. They keep their jaws wide open, which is known as “mouth gaping” because they discharge heat through their mouths to cool themselves. They often sleep with their mouths open. Being unknown of these facts about crocodiles we were amazed why their jaws are open.
7. Crocodiles can survive for a long time without food.
How long can you all survive without food? 1 hour ? 2 hours? 5 hours? 1 day? Well, Crocodiles are old reptiles that routinely go for a long time without food. As crocodiles depend entirely on the external temperature to regulate their internal body temperature, they don’t require food to keep up the internal heat level.
They become more active in hot months and less active in the colder months. Crocodiles are very efficient at collecting energy in their bodies and are fit for eating huge meals. This, and their capacity to stay unmoving for a long time, implies they can survive without food for up to three years.
8. The temperature of a crocodile egg can determine its gender.
One of the interesting facts about crocodiles is their breeding. A female crocodile can lay 60 eggs at a time, and that the temperature of a nest where eggs are laid can determine the gender of the baby. If the temperature of the egg in there is 88.8 Fahrenheit, a male crocodile will develop. If the temperature is less than 32 degrees Celsius, then a female crocodile will develop. These facts about crocodiles are shocking like; How is it possible?
9. 99% of all young crocodiles are eaten in their first year of life.
Even though a female crocodile can lay up to 60 eggs, crocodiles’ infant mortality rate is very high. It is said that 99% of the crocodiles get eaten by other predators in their first year of life. In some parts of the world, crocodile eggs are eaten by humans as well.
10. Crocodiles have keen hearing
As we have already mentioned earlier, crocodiles have strong jaws, but they also have very keen hearing. The baby crocodile can make their mother aware that they are ready to hatch properly by making small noises from within the egg’s shell, which the mother will hear. Then, the mother digs up the eggs from the sand, protects their baby until they hatch, and takes the hatchlings to the water, where they’ll be able to feed off insects in the water.
Additionally, Crocodiles have excellent hearing, which helps them locate prey, particularly in poor light or low visibility conditions. This is one of the most unbelievable facts about crocodiles as they can hear the sound made by the baby inside the egg’s shell.
11. Crocodile’s skin
Crocodiles have robust exterior features. The skin on their backs is very durable and tough to penetrate. Only the crocodile’s belly has gentle skin. The skin on their back contains bony structures (called osteoderms); that’s why they are thought to be bulletproof, but this might not be necessarily true.(Last Updated On: April 4, 2021)