Kruger National Park

Nile Crocodile

Crocodylus Niloticus

The Nile croc is known for being a man-eater and this is true. The croc shares its habitat with humans and is not picky, so whether you’re an antelope or human you might just be these big reptile’s next meal (if you are close enough to the water, of course). No one can truly say how many people become dinner to the Nile croc, but estimates are that about 200 people each year are victims to this reptile’s jaws.

Now that the terrifying part is done with let’s move on the less life-threatening facts…

Physique

  • The Nile crocodile is the second largest extant reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile.
  • The average weight is 500lbs/226kg, but they can weight up to 1,650lbs/748 kg.
  • The average size is 16ft/4.8768 meters and maximum is about 20 feet/6.096 meters.
  • The average lifespan for wild Nile crocs is 45 years.

Diet

  • The Nile crocodile isn’t picky at all and will attack almost anything, but the main protein on its plate is fish.
  • The Nile crocodile even scavenges carrion.
  • It can eat up to half its body weight at a meal.

Motherly instincts?

  • Unlike most reptiles, the mother and father Nile crocs guard their nests until the eggs hatch.
  • If you see a parent croc putting one of its eggs in its mouth; don’t worry they’re just rolling the egg in their mouths to help the young crocs hatch (I guess everyone has a soft spot).

Bonus facts!

  • The group name for these reptiles is a “Bask” when on land and a “Float” when they are in the water.
  • Crocodiles are hunted and many people eat them.
  • When it comes to fashion, the Nile crocs are on the front pages of many magazines as people still buy boots and belts made of their skins.
  • Some say that this cold blood delicacy tastes fishy – yes, the pun was intended.

 

Written by Tersha van Staden

Photograph by Tony Mackrill