A living relic of prehistorical times, Crocodile is the only surviving member of the same family that had Dinosaurs as members. Crocodile is also the closest living relative to Birds. Studying Crocodile provides knowledge about extinct animals and their links with today's animals.
The fourteen true Crocodile species are found in the tropics. They range from Estuarine (Saltwater) Crocodile, who swims in the open ocean, to the rare Cuban Crocodile, found in only two swamps of Cuba. (Related members of the Crocodile family are the Alligators and the Gavial.)
One of the most well known of Crocodiles is the Nile Crocodile of Africa. The Nile Crocodile is a fearsome predator of animals and people. She preys on animals coming to the river to drink-–Lions, Buffalos, Gazelles. She grabs the animal with Her strong jaws and teeth, dragging the prey underwater until the animal drowns.
Like Alligators, Crocodiles are excellent mothers. The Nile Mother-to-be is very choosy in placing her nest – close enough to the Nile River that she can keep watch but far away from the Nile floods. Mother Crocodile remains close to Her young until they reach adulthood. Even during periods of drought, She will not leave them.
The most fearsome of Crocodiles is Saltwater Crocodile that lives in the brackish estuaries and coastal regions from the Indian to the Pacific Oceans. This Crocodile can swim for miles from the mainland to small islands in the ocean. No one is safe from Him, since He attacks and kills about a thousand people a year.
Crocodiles represent the power and strength of nature. They are, also, a link to the past and to the present.
An Important Crocodile Teachings: Secrets and Watchfulness
“Saltwater Crocodile silently coasts along, submerged beneath the water of his Aquarian world. His long evolutionary path enabling him to watch all, as his lives progress down through the ages.” Copyright: “The Wisdom of Australian Animals”, Ann Williams-Fitzgerald.
Crocodile and Plover:
“Crocodile’s large teeth are endangered by leeches who attack her gums, thus endangering her one great survival gift. Therefore, Crocodile will open her mouth and wait for her ally, the Plover. This little bird hops into Crocodile’s mouth and eats the leeches. Although Crocodile eats birds, she never harms Plover. We can call upon Crocodile and Plover medicine to help us form alliances with people who are very different from us, and to help us find allies where and with whom we least expect.” Copyright: Dolfyn.
The difference between Alligator and Crocodile is the snout and the jaw. Crocodiles have narrow snouts, and their teeth in their upper jaw fit between their lower jaw’s teeth. Alligators have broad snouts, with their upper teeth overlaping their lower teeth.
Conservation Note: American Crocodile, whose range was Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean, is endangered. In the United States and Venezuela, Crocodile is a protected species. Cuban Crocodile is now only found in two swamps in Cuba. International treaties ban the trade in Crocodile products.
Philippine Crocodile Photo courtesy of WhoZoo.