Crocodiles are amazing reptiles with large teeth and snapping jaws. These features make them a creature that always fascinates people, with the late Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) making the reptile an infamous creature that was widely televised. Now there is a lot more to a crocodile than meets the eye. Let’s find out about some of their unique features.
- They Have The Strongest Bite On The Planet
Crocodiles have one of the strongest bites of any creature. However, this power is only apparent when clamping their jaw downwards. The muscles that open their jaws are weak, and a single person and perhaps even a child could hold them shut. In fact, a rubber band is believed to be enough to hold some crocs’ mouths shut. Of course, testing this theory out is not a good idea.
- They Can Sleep With One Eye Open
Crocodile sleeping habits are quite unusual. They sometimes only close one eye when they sleep. Does this mean they are constantly alert for prey? Researchers are still trying to determine exactly how a crocodiles’ sleep works and whether sleeping with one open eye increases their alertness.
- They Can Weigh Over A Ton
The biggest crocodiles can grow to weights of 1200kg or even more. Of course, this is just a select few species. Most are considerably smaller.
The saltwater crocodile is the largest species and typically weighs around 900kg-1200kg. The dwarf crocodile is the smallest species and weights around 25kg. Male crocodiles always weigh more than females.
Many crocodiles can grow to 2 metres in length or even more.
- Crocodiles Don’t Sweat
Crocodiles don’t have sweat glands. If you see one sitting on a river bank with its mouth open, it’s not aggressive. In fact, the way crocodiles cool down is by releasing heat through their mouths. Other ways they can cool down is finding a shady spot or simply jumping in the water.
Crocodiles are cold-blooded, and to warm up, they need to bask in the sun or absorb heat from warm rocks. Their scales then work to keep this heat from escaping.
- They Have Been Alive Longer Than The Dinosaurs
The crocodiles were believed to have appeared 240 million years ago, which makes them older than dinosaurs. Some crocodiles species can live up to 80 years.
- They Are Fast
Crocodiles can swim at around 20mph or more because of their powerful tail. Their short limbs can be bent back to give them a smooth outline for gliding through the water. However, while they can move fast in the water, they normally choose not to. By floating with no motion, they remain inconspicuous to their prey until they suddenly strike.
On land, they are much clumsier. However, they can still move at around 10mph in short bursts. These figures vary depending on the crocodile species, its size, and its age. Mud can help crocodiles increase their land speed as they use their long stomachs to glide across it.
Crocodiles are amazing creatures that have existed on the earth for millions of years. In fact, they were around long before the dinosaurs. Consider taking a visit to the zoo or a wildlife park to see one of these creatures up close and personal.