Crocodile factoids | Sense Africa

Jenny's Blog

Crocodile factoids3rd March '20

Crocodile 1. Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are the world’s largest living reptiles. The average male is 5m in length and weighs around 500kg, with the largest ever recorded being 6.3m long!

2. A human can outrun a crocodile, a crocodile can achieve 12–14kph but only for a short time, and slower than a fit human. So if you’re in reasonable shape, you could definitely outrun a croc. Or travel with someone not as fit as you.

3. Crocodiles have three ways of moving: the belly-crawl which is used over mud; the high walk which is when the legs push the body up off the ground; and the ‘gallop’, where they bound like a rabbit. It is thought that ancient croc-like creatures galloped after prey when on land, today they only gallop to escape danger.

4. The temperature of the nest in which eggs are laid determines the sex of the offspring. Lower incubation temperatures produce mostly females; higher temperatures mostly males.

5. Saltwater crocodiles have long lifespans, many living to more than 65 years. In captivity, there have been several reports of crocodiles living to be over 100 years old.

6. Only 1% of newborn crocodiles will survive to adulthood.

7. Crocodiles sleep with one eye open, they join several aquatic mammals and birds capable of unihemispheric sleep, which involves shutting down half of their brain at a time, keeping the other half alert to danger. The right eye remains open when the left side of the brain is awake, and vice versa.


8. Crocodiles can travel long distances by sea, sometimes as much as 900km.

9. Crocodiles can open their mouths underwater without drowning because they have a valve at the bottom of the mouth that seals off the throat so they can hunt underwater.

10. The “death roll” is a hunting behaviour needed for larger prey. After drowning its victim, the crocodile rapidly rolls it in the water in order to remove its limbs, as its teeth are designed for gripping rather than tearing flesh.

Sense Africa provides bespoke self-drive, privately guided, or group guided tours  which provide opportunities to see crocodiles. Contact us to discuss the options available.

Jenny Bowen,
Director and Founder of Sense Africa

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