Crocodile Squad - Crocodylia, or Loricata - water reptiles. The length of most crocodiles is 2-5 m, some up to 6 m (combed crocodile, old males). The crocodile’s head is flat, with a long snout and a characteristic curved section of the mouth, the body is flattened, the tail is powerful, oarly compressed from the sides, legs are massive, relatively short.
The eyes of crocodiles with a vertically slit pupil are located very high. The nostrils and ear holes are closed by valves. The skin is thick, on the upper and lower sides of the trunk and tail covered with large rectangular horny shields. Under the dorsal scutes, and in some species and under the abdominal scutes, are thick bony plates that form a carapace.
The crocodile skull is characterized by the presence of two temporal arches and a fixed connection of the square bone with the cranium. The nasopharyngeal passage is separated from the oral cavity by a secondary bone palate. Conical teeth of the same type sit in separate cells and change as they wear out. Vertebral vertebrae. The ribs articulate with the vertebrae with a double head and have a hook-shaped process. There are abdominal ribs. The shoulder girdle consists only of the scapula and coracoid.
Crocodiles are superior to other reptiles in brain development. Of the senses, the organs of vision and hearing are especially well developed.
The heart has 2 ventricles, completely separated by a septum (as in birds and mammals). At the intersection of two aortic arcs, there is a hole between them, through which blood can flow from one arch to another. The lungs are large, of complex structure. The fleshy tongue along the entire length is incremented to the bottom of the oral cavity. The stomach has thick muscular walls. There is no bladder. Cesspool in the form of a longitudinal slit, in the back of which the males have an unpaired genital organ, the musk glands lie on its sides. The same glands are present on the underside of the jaw.
Crocodiles are common in all tropical countries; they live in rivers, lakes and high-water swamps, some live in the coastal part of the seas. Active mainly at night. They feed mainly on fish, in addition, birds and mammals that live near the water, as well as aquatic mollusks and crustaceans, attack large cattle (including cattle) on fords and watering places. Large prey is dismembered on the shore with the help of powerful jaws and forelimbs and swallowed in parts. The voice of a crocodile is something between a bark and a roar, especially often heard during the breeding season.
The female lays eggs in the sand on the shallows or buries in a heap of rotting foliage of marsh plants. The number of eggs ranges from 20 to 100. The eggs have a dense white calcareous shell. Females of a number of species for a long time remain near the masonry, protecting eggs, and then young growth from enemies. In some countries, during periods of drought, K. bury themselves in the silt of drying reservoirs and hibernate before the onset of rains. Crocodiles do some damage to livestock. Large K. often attack a person. Crocodile meat is edible and is eaten by the population of many tropical countries. The skin of crocodiles, especially alligators, is used for various products (briefcases, suitcases, saddles, etc.).
Crocodile squad includes 3 families: gavials, real crocodiles and alligators. The alligator family includes 7 species belonging to 4 genera: the alligators themselves, Caiman, Melanosuchus and Paleosuchus, the last three combine under the common name caimans. In the family of real Crocodiles - 3 genera. The genus Tomistoma includes a single species - gavials (T. schlegeli), length up to 5 m. Distributed in the rivers of the Malay Peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan (Borneo). The genus of real Crocodiles (Crocodylus), found in all tropical countries, unites 10 (or 14) species, including the Nile crocodile (C. niloticus) - up to 7 m long, distributed in rivers, swamps and lakes of tropical Africa - from Senegal and Upper Nile to Natal, as well as in Madagascar, the combed crocodile (C. porosus) is distributed at the mouths and along the coasts of Southeast Asia and the islands of the Malay archipelago, as well as Northern Australia and New Guinea, often swims in the open sea. The genus of blunt crocodiles (Osteolaemus) combines 2 species, length up to 2 m, found in West Africa. The predatory extermination of crocodiles for their skin, used in the haberdashery industry, in recent years has led to a sharp reduction in the number of these animals. In a number of countries (USA, Cuba, Japan) there are special farms on which crocodiles are bred. Modern crocodiles are the remains of a large group of crocodiles (originating in the Late Triassic from tecodonts), which included up to 15 families uniting about 100 genera, most of them died out by the beginning of the Cenozoic. Crocodile fossils are found in Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Origin of view and description
Photo: Saltwater Crocodile
Saltwater crocodiles are reptiles and are representatives of the order of crocodiles, the family and genus of real crocodiles, isolated in the form of a combed crocodile. This type of reptile is considered one of the oldest living creatures on the planet. According to scientists, they are descended from crocodilmorphous and arthropods.
These creatures lived in reservoirs near the Gondwana continent about 100 million years ago. Surprisingly, they managed to survive during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction. In the western region of Queensland, the remains of an ancient reptile were discovered. Judging by historical data, the sea was once located on this territory. The remains of the skeleton indicate that the reptile of those times was able to make deadly rotations.
Scientists cannot name the specific period of occurrence of the combed crocodile as a separate species. The most ancient remains of combed crocodiles are about 4.5 - 5 Ma. In appearance, combed crocodiles have much in common with Filipino, New Guinean, or Australian crocodiles. But genetic comparisons show similarities with Asian reptile species.
Appearance and features
Photo: Saltwater Crocodile Red Book
The appearance of a dangerous and powerful reptile amazes and inspires fear. The body length of an adult reaches six meters. Body weight 750 - 900 kilograms.
Interesting! The mass of one head in some large males reaches two tons! Reptiles have sexual dimorphism. Females are significantly smaller and lighter than males. The body weight of females is almost half that, and the body length does not exceed 3 meters.
The body is flat and voluminous, flowing smoothly into a huge tail. Its length is more than half the length of the body. The overweight body is supported by short, powerful paws. Because of this, combed crocodiles belonged to alligators for a very long period of time. However, after the studies have been moved to the family and look of these crocodiles.
Video: Saltwater Crocodile
Crocodiles have an elongated muzzle with huge, powerful jaws. They are incredible in strength and have 64-68 sharp teeth. Nobody will be able to open closed jaws. On the head are small, high-lying eyes and two rows of ridges that run from the eyes to the tip of the nose.
The area of the back and abdomen is covered with scales, which do not ossify with age, as in representatives of other species. The color of the skin is brown or dark green with an olive tint. This color allows you to go unnoticed when in ambush while hunting. Young individuals have a lighter, yellowish color with dark stripes and specks located throughout the body.
By the age of 6-10 years, the color of the reptiles becomes much darker. With age, spots and stripes become less pronounced and bright, but never completely disappear. The lower abdomen and limbs are very light, almost yellow. The inner surface of the tail is gray with dark stripes.
Reptiles are distinguished by excellent vision. They see perfectly both in water and on land, at a great distance. When in water, the eyes are closed with a special protective film. Saltwater crocodiles are endowed with excellent hearing, due to which they respond to the slightest, barely audible rustlings. The combed crocodile's body is equipped with special glands that cleanse it of excess salt. Thanks to this, he can live not only in fresh, but also in salty sea waters.
Where does the combed crocodile live?
Photo: Large combed crocodile
To date, the habitat of combed crocodiles has declined significantly.
Saltwater Crocodile Habitat:
- Eastern regions of India,
- New Guinea,
- The philippines
- Southeast Asia,
- Japan (single individuals).
Most predators are concentrated in the waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean, in the northern regions of Australia. This type of crocodile is distinguished by its ability to swim well and overcome long distances. Thanks to this ability, they can even swim in the open ocean and live there for a month or more. It is common for males to cover distances of up to a thousand kilometers; females can swim half as much. They can feel comfortable in small ponds. They can adapt to living in reservoirs with fresh and salt waters.
The ideal habitat is considered to be quiet, calm and deep-sea places, savannahs, flat terrain with high vegetation, as well as estuaries of rivers and the sea coast. When reptiles fall into the open waters of the seas or oceans, they prefer to go with the flow, rather than actively moving.
Most of these powerful and predatory reptiles prefer a warm climate, and small water sources - swamps, estuaries. With the onset of severe drought, they go down to the very mouth of the rivers.
What does the combed crocodile eat?
Photo: Saltwater Crocodile
Saltwater crocodiles are the most powerful, treacherous and very dangerous predator. In the food chain, it occupies the highest step. The basis of the diet is meat, which is required by such a powerful and large animal in large quantities. The animal eats only fresh meat. He will never use carrion, except when he is in a weak state. Young individuals and females can eat large insects and small, even invertebrate animals. Large, young males require prey much larger and larger.
The basis of the diet of the combed crocodile is:
In the animal world, combed crocodiles are considered particularly cruel predators. They eat everything without even disdaining people and other crocodiles, including representatives of their own species, only younger and smaller. In hunting skills they have no equal. Crocodiles can be ambushed in water or vegetation overgrown for a long time.
When the prey is within reach, the predator rushes at it with a lightning jerk and closes its jaws with a death grip. They are inherent not to kill, but holding the victim to rotate around the axis of their body and tear off pieces. A crocodile can swallow a piece at once, which is equal in weight to half its body weight.
At first glance, the crocodile seems to be a clumsy and awkward animal. However, this is a profound error. He easily overcomes obstacles; during the hunt he can climb steep, rocky shores and slippery stones. During the pursuit, prey in water develops a speed of up to 35 km / h.
A large amount of food eaten is processed into adipose tissue. It helps reptiles easily bear the lack of a food source. With a sufficient amount of adipose tissue, some individuals can easily exist without food from several months to a year. In the stomach of predators are stones that help grind pieces of meat that they swallow whole.
Features of character and lifestyle
Photo: Red-headed combed crocodile
Saltwater crocodiles are the most dangerous, cunning and smart predators. By strength, power and treachery, they have no competitors in nature. It can exist in both fresh and salt water. In search of food and in the process of hunting, they can overcome significant distances, go into the open ocean and stay there for quite a long time. Navigate in the water helps a long powerful tail, which serves as a helm.
Along the rivers, for so long and long, reptiles are not peculiar to move. Forged predators do not have a sense of herdness. They can live in group conditions, but more often they choose a solitary lifestyle.
Saltwater crocodiles do not tolerate too high temperatures. They prefer to immerse themselves in water and wait there for intense heat. When the ambient temperature drops, reptiles look for warm places, rocks, and rocky, sun-heated land surfaces. Artful predators are considered very intelligent and organized. They are inherent to communicate with each other through certain sounds. During the period of marriage, as well as in the struggle for territory, they can be extremely aggressive towards other representatives of their species. Such fights are terrifying and often fatal.
Each individual or small flock has its own territory, which is protected from the invasion of other individuals. Females occupy an area of about one square kilometer and protect it from the invasion of other female representatives. Males cover a large territory, including the habitat of several females and a freshwater zone suitable for breeding. The males are very aggressive towards other males, but they are very supportive of females. They are even ready to share their prey with them.
People do not cause fear in reptiles. They rarely attack them as prey. This phenomenon is common in regions where large concentrations of predators lead to severe food shortages. Attacks on people also occur if a person is reckless or threatens small crocodiles or laid eggs.
Social structure and reproduction
Photo: Large combed crocodile
The mating season in predatory reptiles lasts from November to the end of March. During this period, there is a desire to get closer to fresh water. Often there is a struggle for a plot near a reservoir between males. It is common for males to create so-called "harems", the number of which numbers more than 10 females.
Creating and arranging a nest is a concern that falls entirely on the shoulders of the females. They create huge nests that reach 7-8 meters in length and more than a meter in width and place them on a hill so that the rains do not destroy it. After mating, the female lays eggs in the nest. The number of eggs can be different and ranges from 25 to 95 pieces.
After laying eggs, she carefully masks the laid eggs with leaves and green vegetation. About three months later, a faint, barely audible squeak comes from the nest. Thus, small crocodiles call their mother for help so that she helps them free themselves from the eggshell. Throughout this time, the female is constantly within sight of her nest and carefully guards it.
Small crocodiles are born very small. The body size of the babies born is 20-30 centimeters. Weight does not exceed a hundred grams. However, crocodiles grow very quickly, grow stronger and gain body weight. The female takes care of her offspring for 6-7 months. Despite care and protection, the survival rate rarely exceeds one percent.The lion's share of offspring dies in the battle with older and stronger individuals, and also become victims of crocodiles - cannibals.
Zoologists note that if the average temperature in the nest is 31.5 degrees, then most males hatch from the eggs. This temperature is maintained due to rotting vegetation, which is lined with a nest. If the temperature regime fluctuates in the direction of decrease, or increase, then females prevail among the babies born. Females reach puberty by 10-12 years, males only from 15, 16 years.
It is noteworthy that females whose body length exceeds 2.2 meters and males whose body length exceeds 3.2 meters are ready for mating. The average life span of a combed crocodile is 65-75 years. Often there are centenarians who live up to 100 years or more.
Natural enemies of the combed crocodile
Photo: Saltwater Crocodile
Under natural conditions, combed crocodiles have virtually no enemies. In rare cases, they can become the prey of huge sharks. The main enemy of a person is considered a person. Due to his poaching, this species of reptile was on the verge of extinction. Young individuals, as well as eggs of combed crocodiles, are considered the most vulnerable to various predators.
Predators that can destroy nests, or attack cubs:
- Monitor lizards
- Huge turtles
- Predators of the cat family
- Large predatory fish.
Adult, strong males often eat younger and weaker individuals. Within the depths of the sea, sharks pose the greatest danger to young individuals.
Population and species status
Photo: Saltwater crocodile in nature
In the late 80s, the number of combed crocodiles decreased to a critical level. Reptiles in large quantities were destroyed due to the value of the skin and the possibility of manufacturing expensive products. This species of crocodiles was listed in the Red Book with the assignment of the status "endangered". In the regions where it lives, the destruction of combed crocodiles is prohibited by law and criminally punishable. In countries where crocodiles live in natural conditions, its skin is highly valued, and reptile meat dishes are considered a special delicacy.
A sharp decline in the population was also caused by the destruction of human habitual habitat. In many countries where previously predatory animals were considered habitual animals, now they are completely exterminated. Such an example is Sri Lanka and Thailand, in single quantities remained in Japan. In the southern region of Vietnam, reptiles used to live in the thousands. Subsequently, up to several hundred individuals were destroyed. To date, according to zoologists, the number of these huge reptiles exceeds 200,000 individuals. To date, the combed crocodile is considered a rare species, but not endangered.
Great job, Atrox!
Thank you for the wonderful compendium of clear information and illustrations of all kinds! “You're just great!”
So now essentially:
“Listen, do you have any hypotheses regarding the fact that the alligator has relatively strong jaws and a scissor bite? Well, yes, they feed on turtles, but crocodiles have stronger and larger prey. And what about the bite? And in general, there’s a strange tendency - "Nile and combed crocodile jaw narrower than that of the swamp, although the latter usually feeds on small fry"
Honestly - no thoughts whatsoever. In principle, I do not understand well why exceptionally small archosaurs live in the "reptile paradise" - in South and Central America. Moreover, the most amazing thing is that they were always small there, even in the Pleistocene, when there was more huge production on this land than in Africa.
In principle, it can be assumed that the New World is the center of evolution of the alligator family and there they replaced almost all the niches that are generally possible for crocodile-like ones, preventing, respectively, diverging local real crocodiles. As a result, there are real crocodiles in the New World, but there are few of them and they occupy the niche of the largest amphibiotic predators. Alligators and caimans squeezed them out of the medium and small class. It turned out the division of niches between families - alligators as a whole are much smaller, exceptionally freshwater (all American crocodiles are either brackish-water, or at least tolerate sea water sometimes. Alligators - no) - and grab another prey. Most likely, the heavy jaws of alligators are an attempt to compensate for their small growth compared to the crocodile + specialization in harder prey than crocodiles of the same size. Alligators are clearly prone to eating both turtles and shell-like invertebrates - crabs and bivalve shells. Crocodiles prefer quick but soft prey - fish. Moreover, such a separation of nutrition is probably observed already at an early age - why crocodiles and alligators can get along in the same region of Florida, for example. Those. it is clear that very small eat only insects. But then they quickly switch to their native prey.
Accordingly, there is a specialization in the type of jaws - to crack shells of mollusks and turtles you need a press. Short and fat. For fishing under water - narrow and long scissors that do not have a large resistivity with lateral movement of the head of the reptile.
In absolute terms, in the largest species, even the relatively “narrow-winged” Nile and combed crocodiles, when they reach adulthood, get SUCH millstones that, with all the narrow-necked relative to the body in absolute sizes, their jaws become the most powerful among the reptile class, where is there a marsh crocodile or a Mississippi to the alligator. Accordingly, having reached a fully adult state, these two giants, which in their youth are almost exclusively fish-eating, switch to feeding on large mammals at watering places.
And the alligator and the swamp crocodile continue to eat turtles. The animals on their menu are still not characteristic prey.
Sawing Crocodile Protection
Photo: Saltwater Crocodile Red Book
In order to protect reptiles as a species, and to prevent complete extinction, the combed crocodile is listed in the international red book. It is also listed in Appendix 1 of the Cities Convention, with the exception of New Guinea, Australia, Indonesia. The measures taken on the territory of many countries to preserve and increase the species did not produce any effect.
In India, a special program for the protection of a bloodthirsty predator has been developed and implemented. To this end, he is bred in artificial conditions on the territory of the Bhitarinkinaka National Reserve. As a result of the activities of this park and its employees, about one and a half thousand individuals were released into natural conditions. About a third of them survived.
About a thousand individuals inhabit the territory of India, and this population is recognized as stable.
Australia is considered the leader in terms of the number of habitats of predatory reptiles. The country's authorities pay great attention to educating the population and warning about the need to preserve and increase the species, as well as measures of criminal responsibility for the destruction of animals. On the territory of the country, farms and national parks are actively operating, in the territory of which they are engaged in crocodile breeding.
Combed crocodile recognized as one of the most terrible, dangerous and amazing animals on earth. It is noteworthy that he is also the most ancient animal, which practically has not undergone any visual changes since ancient times. This is due to habitat in water sources. It is water that is characterized by a constant temperature. Crocodiles are fearless and very insidious hunters with incredible strength and power that is not inherent in any other animal on Earth.
Spinning plug Crocodile - professional. It is not suitable for casting light bait at the right distance. When handling it, special skill and physical strength will be required. Ideal for trolling and bottom fishing. Spinning can be purchased in white and black. Reel seat - standard with bottom nut. The handle is made of rubberized material. The unit weighs 413 grams, the length in the assembled state is 108 centimeters. The most important advantage of this spinning rod is its durability. The fisherman is available models with one and two sections, with a screw connection, plug-in, with a length of 100 to 270 centimeters. With the help of such tackle they fish from the shore or boat.
Crocodile spinning is designed for catching large fish in different streams. The plug spinning rod consists of knees and a whale (blank with rubber shock absorber). The plug-in elbows move along the rollers, the survival takes place with the help of a whale. Spinning rods are used to catch predatory fish on artificial bait. There are two directions of spinning: casting and trolling. The second involves fishing for the released bait, where the reel is used for survival. The device resembles a feeder in its characteristics and purpose, but unlike it, it does not have sufficient sensitivity, accuracy, casting distance, and good depreciation qualities.
Spinning Siweida Crocodile reliable and ergonomic. It can be used as a bottom rod and feeder. The spinning blank is made of one-piece carbon fiber, which withstands distant castings of a heavy sinker. Two-part models are reliably and firmly connected, the rings have ceramic inserts. Their main task is to protect the fishing line from wear. The reel seat is made in the form of a classic clamping screw with a metal ring. The handle is made of practical neoprene. A special loop is provided to secure the hook. The Siweida brand produces various Crocodile models with rod lengths from eighty centimeters to three meters.
Spinning Crocodile 210 - a powerful device with a length of 210 centimeters with a test of up to 250 grams. The model is heavy, powerful and durable. Made of monolithic fiberglass without cavities. The color of the rod is white. This allows you to see the bite if the night fishing. The tip is bright orange or red. Withstands feeders weighing up to two hundred grams. According to the owners, spinning is convenient to use for fishing from a boat. Reel seat with bottom nut, handle made of foam. It is used on water with a strong current. Device Specifications:
- two sections
- length - 210 centimeters,
- threaded junction of butt and whip,
- test - from 100 to 250 grams,
- slow build
- five rings
- made of fiberglass.
Crocodile spinning rods are often referred to as power spinning rods, as they require great stamina for the angler during fishing.
Crocodile spinning, despite its intended use, technical characteristics and impressive appearance, is inexpensive. Its price ranges from 250 to 400 rubles. Short models are much cheaper. Due to the fact that spinning is available to everyone, beginners buy it and. are mistaken. Only professionals can cope with it.
Should I buy Crocodile spinning? Reviews of experienced fishermen advise when choosing to focus on personal experience and take into account the features of fishing, the question of what kind of fish you are going to catch is also important. According to users, spinning is suitable for feeder fishing. Long-life construction, good cushioning and donka, long casts can be made, the rod is strong and powerful. The device is durable, light, convenient. The quality of the materials is high. At the same time, spinning is cheap.
Judging by the reviews, it is really possible to throw a large and heavy load over a long distance from the shore. The Crocodile has a comfortable and ergonomic handle, functionality, a large supply of power, it is suitable for carp fishing. The main disadvantages of narrow-profile spinning: rigidity, poor knee joint, low sensitivity, poor working out of jerking fish, weak reel seat. In addition, it is heavy - it is difficult to hold.