Crocodiles and alligators types, names, photos and description, food and reproduction

Crocodiles are an extremely interesting type of semiwater predators. These animals belong to the detachment of water vertebrates and received the status of the largest individuals of the type of reptile. Historically, crocodiles are considered ancient descendants of dinosaurs, since this species has more than 250 million years. This species is rightfully unique, since for such a huge period of existence, its appearance has not changed much. It is amazing that in terms of the characteristics of the internal structure, crocodiles have more in common with feathers, although they are a reptile. The name “crocodile” dates back to the Greek word “crocodilos”, which means “wreck”. It is likely that in ancient times the Greeks compared a crocodile with a reptile with a tuberous skin cover and a worm characteristic of its long trunk.

Types of crocodiles

At the moment, 23 types of crocodiles have been formed. These species are combined in several families and 3 families.

The Crocodilia detachment in question includes:

  • Real crocodiles (13 species);
  • Alligators (8 species);
  • Gavalovs (2 species).
  • General characteristics of the detachment of real crocodiles

    A detachment of real crocodiles includes 15 types of predators that differ in external features and habitat. As a rule, most crocodiles have a name associated with their common range.

    Real crocodiles are divided into the following types:

    Solonewater (or crest, sea) crocodile. This representative has a distinctive feature in the form of crests in the eye area. The appearance of this species inspires fear due to its huge dimensions. This species is rightfully considered the largest and most dangerous predator among crocodiles. Body size can reach 7 meters in length. You can meet this representative in the territory of Southeast Asia and North Australia.

    Nile crocodile. The most dimensional view in Africa. Takes second place in size after a solonovodnoye crocodile. The body of the body of this representative has always been a subject of disputes. But officially registered reaches no more than 6 meters.

    Indian (or swamp) crocodile or Mager. By the standards of the entire type of Indian crocodile, the average representative. The size of the male is 3 meters. This species is better than others adapted to land and can spend most of the time there. He settled the territory of India.

    American (or acute) crocodile. This representative can reach the sizes of the Nile crocodile. It is considered a dangerous reptile, but attacks people extremely rarely. The name “sharply” received at the expense of its elongated and narrow jaws. The population of this species is located in South and North America.

    African narrow crocodile. Crocodile is considered narrowly due to its specific structure of the mora. The narrowness and harmony of the jaws allows this species to easily cope with fishing. The view is listed in the Red Book as an endangered. The latest species have survived in Gabona in Africa.

    Orinok crocodile. The most dimensional representative of South America. Has a narrow muzzle that helps to obtain marine inhabitants for food. This representative most suffers from poachers, since his skin has a large weight in the black market.

    Australian narrow crocodile or Johnston crocodile. A relatively small representative. Male body length 2.5 meters. Settled the northern coast of Australia.

    Filipino crocodile. The population of this species is exclusively in the Philippines. The external difference lies in the wide structure of the muzzle. The Philippine crocodile is considered extremely aggressive. But since his habitat is far from the settlements of people, there are extremely rare attacks.

    Central American Crocodile or Crocodile Morrel. This species was opened only in 1850 by the French naturalist Morele, for which the crocodile received the second name. Settled the type of Morele territory with freshwater reservoirs of Central America.

    Novogvinean crocodile. The representative is listed in the Red Book. Its habitat is located only on the territory of Indonesia. Prefers to populate fresh reservoirs and leads a night lifestyle.

    Cuban crocodile. Settled on the islands of Cuba. The key feature of this species is relatively long limbs that allow it to persecute the prey on land. It is considered a very aggressive and dangerous look.

    Siamese crocodile. An extremely rare representative who can only be found in Cambodia. Its size does not exceed 3 meters.

    African or stupid dwarf crocodile. Relatively small representative of crocodiles. Maximum body length 1.5 meters. Settled African swamps and lakes.

    General characteristics of the alligators detachment

    The second most prevalence. Includes 8 representatives. Includes the following types:

    American (or Mississipian) Alligator. It is considered a very large view of the alligators detachment. The average body length of males ranges from 4 meters. It differs with strong jaws. Lives on the south side of America.

    Chinese alligator. Unique view in China. In size reaches the maximum length of 2 meters. Extremely small representative. The population has only 200 alligators.

    Black Kaiman. In its dimensions, it shares the first place with the American representative. The body length of this alligator can reach 6 meters. Popular in Latin America. Attacks are registered on a person.

    Crocodile (or point) Kaiman. Average in size representative. Body length reaches no more than 2.5 meters. More other alligators are popular, spreading from Belize and Guatemala to Peru and Mexico.

    Widedead kayman. A rather large look. In size ranges from 3 to 3.5 meters. He settled the territory of Argentina.

    Paraguayan (or Yakarsky) Kayman. Extremely small representative. Occupies the southern range of Brazil and North Argentina. Less commonly found in Paraguay and on the south side of Bolivia.

    Dwarf (or smoothbone) Kaiman Cuvier. The body length of this kaiman does not exceed 1.6 meters, which is quite small in comparison with relatives. It is considered the smallest representative of the entire detachment. The view lives in Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador and Gayan. French naturalist Cuvier first opened this species in 1807.

    Smoothknit (or dwarf) Kaiman Schneider. This species is a little larger than Kaiman Kuvier. Its size can reach 2.3 meters. The distribution area extends from Venezuela to South Brazil.

    General characteristics of the Gavalov detachment

    This representative includes only two types these are Gangan Gavial and Gavalov crocodile. These species are considered large semiwater reptiles similar to conventional crocodiles. A distinctive feature is a very subtle muzzle structure with which they can deftly cope with fishing.

    The habitat of the Gavaloval crocodile spread on the territory of Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

    Gangan Gavial is sometimes found on the territory of Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. In many territories, this species completely disappears. The Gavalovs squad spends most of the time in water, where he can get food with dexterity.

    Food crocodiles

    Most representatives prefer solitary hunting, rare species can cooperate to search for production. The most adult crocodiles include large game in their diet. They include:

  • Antelopes;
  • Lions;
  • Rhinos and elephants;
  • Hippos;
  • Buffalo;
  • Zebras.
  • No other beast can compare with the crocodile with its sharp teeth and a wide mouth. Когда жертва попадает в рот крокодила, то выбраться из него уже не сможет никак. As a rule, the crocodile swallows its prey whole, and sometimes tears to pieces. A huge amount of food is eating large crocodiles per day, as a rule, 23 % of their own body weight.

    Since ancient times, their permanent product has been fish. Due to its habitat, this type of snack is as fast and affordable as possible.

    Reproduction period and offspring

    Crocodiles are considered polygamous representatives of reptiles. The marriage period is characterized by bloody contractions between the males for the attention of the chosen female. When forming a couple, the female lays her eggs on shallows. To hide them from prying eyes, covers the eggs with earth and grass. Some females burrow them deep into the ground. The number of the resulting eggs depends on the type of representatives. Their number can be equal to both 10 and 100. In the incubation period, the female does not depart from her clutches, as he protects them from potential danger all the time. The terms of the appearance of crocodiles depend on climatic conditions, but, as a rule, it lasts no more than 3 months. Small crocodiles are born at the same time, and their body size barely reaches 28 centimeters. Trying to get out of the shell, newborns begin to squeak loudly in order to attract the attention of the mother. If the mother heard, she helps her offspring to get their eggs with her sharp teeth, which breaks the shell. After successful hatching, the female attributes her children to the reservoir.

    Literally a couple of days later, the mother breaks off the connection with her offspring. Small crocodiles go into the wild nature completely unarmed and helpless.

    Not all species follow their offspring. Most of the representatives of the Gaviales after laying the eggs leave their “nest” and completely leave offspring.

    Since crocodiles are forced to grow up quite early, their mortality at an early age is quite high. Little crocodiles are forced to hide from wild predators, and at first they eat exclusively insects. Already growing up, they can cope with fish hunting, and being already adult representatives can hunt large game.


    Literally all crocodiles belong to the semiwater reptile. The main time is spent in rivers and reservoirs, and on the shore appear only in the early morning or evening.

    Crocodile body temperature depends on the habitat. The plate of the skin these representatives accumulate the heat of sunlight, on which the temperature of the whole body depends. As a rule, daily temperature fluctuations do not exceed 2 degrees.

    Crocodiles can spend some time in hibernation. This period begins in the period of strong drought. At such moments, they dig a large hole at the bottom of a drying reservoir.

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