Fun facts you didn’t know about crocodiles

Crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles that live in North and South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. These carnivorous predators are excellent hunters, almost unnoticeable, and the female croc is one of the most gentle mothers in the whole animal world. The last point maybe doesn’t sound quite right, but it’s true. The first memory we have about crocodiles is the crocodile from Disney’s Peter Pan when it was going after Captain Hook. In real life, crocodiles are actually quite different and don’t go out of their way to try and eat mean pirates. Here are some interesting facts about crocodiles that you maybe didn’t know about.

Crocodiles have 60 sharp teeth, but they never chew their food

Crocs have sharp teeth to grab, hold and break the bones of their prey, but they never chew it
Crocs have sharp teeth to grab, hold and break the bones of their prey, but they never chew it

The first crocodile fact sounds unbelievable, right? They use their sharp teeth to grab, hold and break the bones of their prey, but they never chew it. They swallow the food directly together with some stones that serve as a food grinder in the croc’s stomach. Amazing, isn’t it?

Crocodiles swim using the power of their tail

The main engine the crocs use to move through water is their tail. They develop speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and the tail can help them stand upright and stay in that position for three hours. On land, the crocodile’s tail is not so useful.

Crocodiles only eat 50 meals a year

In light of their size, you would think that they’d need to eat 50 times a day, but they eat rarely. A grown crocodile only eats about 50 times a year, but their meals are mostly big animals. The rest of the time they fast, especially the females, who don’t eat at all during the nesting period.

A crocodile’s heart has 4 chambers

These reptiles have hearts that function in the same way as the hearts of birds, but when they are on dry land their hearts behave like the heart of a mammal. When a crocodile enters the water and starts swimming or diving its heart acts like the heart of any other reptile. To some degree, crocs seem to be able to function according to the environment. One more reason to admire these amazing creatures, right?

Baby crocodiles can make noises from inside the eggs

Baby crocodile
Baby crocodile

Can you imagine a human baby screaming from inside the mom’s belly? Well, baby crocs are so cool that they actually release weird noises from inside the eggs before they hatch. They are calling their mothers to let them know when they’re ready to leave the eggshell, so the mom can be around to protect them. When the croc mother hears the noise, she digs out the eggs from the sand, defends the babies until they hatch, and takes them to the river where they’ll be able to feed off insects in the water. The way the mother transports the babies to the water is a heart-melting experience. She places them gently between her sharp teeth and carries them to the river.

The temperature of a crocodile egg can determine its gender

This is one of the most amazing facts you will learn about crocodiles. If the temperature of the egg is  88.8 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s going to be a male crocodile. If the temperature is above or below 88.8 degrees a female croc will hatch. How cool is nature, ha?

“Crocodile tears” do exist!

Crocodiles ‘cry’ while they are eating
Crocodiles ‘cry’ while they are eating

When a crocodile is eating,  air is pushed from its mouth, through the sinuses and into its tear ducts, so they start crying while they’re eating. Of course, these tears are fake and it’s not like the crocodile is really crying. That’s why when people say that someone has crocodile tears, it means those tears are fake.

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival