Saturday, 3 December 2016

12 Amazing Facts About Crocodiles That Will Blow Your Mind.

12 Amazing Facts About Crocodiles photo
Image Source: animals.nationalgeographic.com

Crocodiles; our not-so-friendly reptile friends. You can never really get tired of watching reptile expert, Dr Brady Barr wrestle with Crocodiles and other reptiles in Dangerous Encounters on our favourite channel, Nat. Geo Wild. Just so you know, If you don't love that channel and you're reading this, I hate to break it to you but you have definitely not started 'living' yet. Well, don't feel bad because at ScienceHealth24, we love facts and we never get tired of letting you know all the cool and amazing facts in the world. Crocodiles are really amazing creatures once you're able to look pass the razor-sharp teeth, cold eyes and really sharp claws. That shouldn't be too difficult. Below are 12 amazing facts about Crocodiles that will blow your mind.

1. The largest Crocodile species is the Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), normally encountered from India to northern Australia and Fiji. It can reach  7m (23 ft) in length and weigh almost a tonne 😮. At 5m (17 ft) length, it already weighs about 0.5 tonne. Incredibly, a Crocodile egg is no larger than that of a goose. The smallest crocodile is the Dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) from central Africa, which has a maximum length of 1.9 m (6.5 ft). It is more terrestrial than other Crocodiles.

2. Crocodile skin is considered one of the finest, being soft and durable. In many tribal societies, Crocodile skin is used as a symbol of High status. But only the skin on the belly has these qualities; the back skin is covered in bones (called osteoderms) that reflects arrows, spears and even bullets 😮😮😮. A Crocodile skin purse can cost $15,000 and the value of the crocodile skin has been fueling an intense poaching. Today, many of the 23 species of crocodiles and their relatives are threatened, many populations being wiped out. The salvation of the crocodiles could come from the crocodile farms. Brazilian poachers capture them during the night, by thrusting spears between their eyes. The animals are then brought into the boats and skinned alive. Horrible!

3. To "cry crocodile tears" is a common expression which is used for depicting fake sadness. Funny enough, it has its origin in a myth according to which reptiles weep while eating humans. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Believe it when I tell you, Crocodiles really do shed tears while feasting, but it's due to more physiological reasons than A sign of remorse. Their eyes can froth during feeding. Air pushed through the sinuses could mix with tears in the animal's lachrymal (tear) glands and the whole content could be emptied into the eye; resulting in the "fake" remorse. So don't get too emotional watching Crocodiles feed.

4. Some populations regard the Crocodiles with great respect (like the ancient Egyptians). In some tribes in New Guinea, the Crocodile is a totem god and those people make themselves Crocodile-like body scarring, which is an extremely painful procedure that you don't ever want to think of going through. In the case of Australian Aborigines, some tribes were expert in the Crocodile hunt, while for others the Crocodile hunt was taboo.

5. Each Crocodile jaw carries 24 razor-sharp teeth meant to grasp and crush, not to chew. That's why they swallow stones that grind the food inside their stomachs (the stomach stones also serve as ballast). The teeth are continuously replaced during the crocodile's life. Crocodiles can exert enormous pressure when closing their jaws, but the force for opening them is so weak, that an adhesive (band) is enough to keep a large Crocodiles' jaw shut. The record for the greatest bite force is held by the Saltwater Crocodiles, slamming their jaws shut with an astonishing 3,700 pounds per square inch (psi), or 16,460 newtons, of force. These same powerful jaws can also be extremely delicate, working like pencils, when removing offspring from the nest.

6. Crocodiles display increased aggressiveness during the mating season. So for your own safety, give these creatures some privacy when they're in Sage mode. 😏

7. Many times Crocodiles stay on the river banks with mouths wide open. That is not an aggressive posture, but a way to cool off: they sweat through the mouth.

8. The Crocodile has a four-chambered heart like birds (their closest relatives) and mammals, for an active life. Still, when diving, the heart behaves like a three-chambered reptilian heart, enabling them to stay more underwater.

9. How can you make the difference between a Crocodile and an Alligator? I've always had this problem and I'm sure you do too. If you are not accustomed to their shape, look at the mouth: crocodiles have a clearly visible tooth on the lower jaw even when the mouth is closed (Alligators, on the other hand, have a groove where that tooth fits). Because Crocodiles have salt glands inside their mouths they can tolerate sea water, while Alligators cannot. That's why many Crocodile species live in mangroves and estuaries. Behaviorally, crocodiles are more active and more aggressive than Alligators, and also less resistant to cold (Alligators are found in subtropical areas, crocodiles not). Amazingly, Alligators are amazing sources of Antibiotics.

10. If you turn on a lantern at night in waters populated by crocodiles, you will see pairs of shiny red dots. These are Crocodiles' eyes which have a layer called tapetum behind their retina, containing crystals that reflect light and make possible the night vision.

11. Crocodiles can live up to 80 years!

12. 99% of the Crocodile offspring are eaten in the fist year of life by large fish, monitor lizards and strangely... Adult Crocodiles. During the first weeks of life, the Crocodile offspring eats the food reserves from its vitelline sack. The Crocodile eggs are appreciated by monitor lizards, hyenas and even humans. A female lays 20-80 eggs which are incubated in a nest built from plant materials and defended by her for three months.

There you have it, 12 Amazing Facts About Crocodiles. So next time you're looking for a show to watch, don't skip past the likes of Nat. Geo Wild and Animal planet. Nothing beats the feeling of watching these creatures do their thing. Thanks for reading, endeavour to share this with your friends using the share buttons below. Also, subscribe to our newsletter to get more amazing updates directly to your Email.

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