Nile crocodile

One of the most iconic animals of Africa and the second largest reptile on earth

Leigh Bedford

Undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and iconic reptiles in Africa, renowned for its widespread distribution across the continent. From the ancient waters of the Nile River in Egypt to the expansive waterways of East Africa, these formidable predators command respect and evoke fear among both humans and wildlife alike.

Nile crocodiles are ambush predators, waiting for their prey before attacking. They have powerful jaws and sharp teeth that can crush the bones of their prey. Nile crocodiles are also very territorial and will defend their territory aggressively from other crocodiles and predators.

Despite their fearsome reputation, Nile crocodiles exhibit surprisingly complex social behaviors and maternal instincts. Female crocodiles meticulously guard their nests and eggs, carefully regulating the temperature and moisture levels to ensure the survival of their offspring. Once hatched, young crocodiles remain under the protective watch of their mother for nearly two years, learning essential survival skills and feeding on small fish before venturing out on their own.

As opportunistic predators, Nile crocodiles have a varied diet that evolves as they mature. While young crocodiles primarily feed on small fish and insects, adults become apex predators, preying on a wide range of animals, including zebras, porcupines, birds, and even other crocodiles.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Angola
2017
Botswana
2017
Burundi
2017
Cameroon
2017
Congo-Brazzaville
2017
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2017
Egypt
2017
Equatorial Guinea
2017
Eritrea
2017
Eswatini
2017
Ethiopia
2017
Gabon
2017
Israel
Official estimate
EX
Last hunted 1912
Kenya
2017
Madagascar
2017
Malawi
2017
Mozambique
2017
Namibia
2017
Rwanda
2017
Somalia
2017
South Africa
2017
South Sudan
2017
Sudan
2017
Tanzania
2017
Uganda
2017
Zambia
2017
Zimbabwe
2017

Did you know?

  • Archaeologists discovered Mummified Nile Crocodiles in a tomb in southern Egypt

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No