Welcome to Croctober 2023! Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey into the world of one of nature’s most formidable and fascinating creatures: the crocodile (and other crocodilians). Throughout this month, we’ll be diving deep into the depths of these ancient reptiles, uncovering their secrets, and celebrating their remarkable existence.
Common Name: Nile Crocodile
Scientific Name: Crocodylus niloticus
Family: Crocodylidae – Crocodile Family
Locations: Angola, Botswana, Burund, Cameroon, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Size: 16 – 20 feet (4.8 – 6 meters), 500 – 1,650 pounds (227 – 750 kilograms)
The Nile Crocodile lives not just by the Nile River but throughout most of Africa. The croc can live in salt water but prefers fresh or brackish waters. The males of the species are larger than the females, typical for crocodilians. They are apex predators. They are also considered the second largest living reptile by body mass.
During the mating season, the male crocodiles try to attract the females by bellowing, blowing air out of their nose, or smacking their snout on the water. Honestly, pretty much anything to get the females attention. Males can fight between themselves over territory. I won’t go into the details on the mating but its not great for the female.
One to two months later, the female lays between 25 – 80 eggs in a nest that she made. She needs no man.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Nile Crocodile as Least Concern for Extinction. The crocodile has a wide range and are numerous throughout it.
Welcome to CROCtober, the annual celebrations of all things crocodilian, the animal group – not the shoes, during October. The term Crocodilians includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials. These creatures are often misunderstood as furious, killing machines but there’s more to them than that. Crocodilians are one of the most endangered group of animals on the planet. Out of the 23 species, 7 of the species are listed as critically endangered. Additionally, 4 species are listed as vulnerable to extinction. That’s not great.
Over the month of CROCtober, I plan to highlight the different species of crocodilians, the troubles they face, some researchers who study them, and how you can help save the crocs. Don’t worry, frog content will still be posted. Stay tuned!