Mark O'Shea's new softback edition
Venomous Snakes of the World. Also his Dangerous Snakes of Papua New Guinea stamp issue
and all his other books on the new 'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
DK Handbook to Reptiles and Amphibians. Visit the
'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
NILE CROCODILE Crocodilus niloticus
Nile crocodiles are powerful predators that can grown to 6.0m in length and kill wildebeest, zebra or man. many fatal crocodile attacks occur in Africa that are never reported and probably hundreds of people are eaten each year. Crocodiles are expert ambushers, hiding in shallow water and making rapid rushes at their prey.
Recently 'Nile crocodiles', have even been found living in remote oases in the Sahara Desert. They likely belong to a separate species, the Northwest African crocodile (C.suchus) - see Crocodile Canyon. The majority of the Nile population in Egypt was wiped out by skin hunters 100 years ago. Crocodiles can be distinguished from alligators by an indented notch in the upper jaw that allows a large tooth from the lower jaw to extend upwards, visibly outside the mouth.
Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa except southern Africa and the Horn of Africa, down the Nile valley to southern Egypt and in isolated pockets on Madagascar.
click on the images to enlarge them
Habitat: Rivers, lakes and swamps
In hot weather many crocs will congregate and gape with their mouths to loose heat
A rare Saharan crocodile in a remote Mauritanian oasis, probably a remnant population
of a related species, the Northwest African crocodile,
Even small crocs can deliver painful and damaging bites, and they grow quickly