The Croc Catchers NT: Crocodile facts

Video highlights from The Croc Catchers NT

Learn more about these fascinating animals

  • Crocodiles lived at the same time as the dinosuars
  • Crocodile bones have growth rings, and scientists can tell the age of a crocodile by looking at their bones
  • Crocodiles are cold blooded and lie in the sun to get warm.
  • Crocodiles can control their blood flow, which is what allows them to dive for long periods of time, a characteristic unique to the species.
  • A 3.5m crocodile has a brain the same size as a walnut. Despite this they are intelligent and have very good senses for finding prey and learning quickly.
  • The crocodile jaw can bite down with a force of almost 4,000 pounds per square inch.  By contrast, a lion’s bite is around 1,000 psi, while a human bites down with around 150 psi.
  • To swim, the crocodile swings its powerful tail from side to side. Its legs are held against the body. Both feet have claws but the back feet are webbed. They can be used to swim backwards.
  • Female crocodiles rarely grow larger than 10 feet but males can weigh over a ton and measure over 16 feet in length.
  • Crocodiles have a 270 degree field of vision
  • Crocodiles have three eyelids: two leathery protective eyelids and one clear or translucent one.
  • Crocodiles have a variety of signals used to court one another during mating season, which include jawslaps, roaring, and displays of dominance and subordination.
  • Crocodiles know when to mate based on environmental triggers.  Temperature, day length, and humidity (among others) trigger hormonal changes in males and females.
  • Crocodiles can live for months without eating because they do not use much energy.
  • Crocodiles communicate with sounds and body language. To growl, the croc snorts air through the throat or nostrils. The sound is like an idling outboard motor throwing a spray of water into the air from the crocodiles back.
  • Australian saltwater crocodiles have killed about a dozen people in the past 20 years.
     

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