Project Description

Nile Crocodile

Crocodylus niloticus

Aquarium Location

Madagascar

Habitat

Found in Tsingy caves in Madagascar, elsewhere, rivers, lakes, and marshes.

Range

Common in Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Gabon, South Africa, Malawi, Sudan, Botswana and Cameroon. Isolated populations in Madagascar are restricted to the Tsingy caves found in northwestern sections of the dry deciduous forest.

Diet

Opportunistic ambush predators; mainly fish, lemurs, rodents, turtles, snakes, lizards, and larger mammals, such as livestock.

Fun Facts

Regarded as the second largest species of crocodile after the saltwater crocodile, and is the largest species to the African continent.
May eat 50% of their body mass in a single meal.
Geneticists found the crocodiles that inhabit the Tsingy caves to be a genetically different population than those that live on the main continent of Africa.
Crocodiles have the most highly developed brain of all the reptiles.
Madagascar may be the only place in the world where crocodiles inhabit caves.

Cool Adaptation

Stones are often found in the stomachs of adult crocodiles. Many biologists think these stones may aid in digestion.

Conservation Connection

The number of crocodiles in Madagascar has been severely affected due to poaching. In the streets of Antananarivo, skins, leather-belts, and other crocodile artifacts are sold openly.