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Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus)
The Nile crocodile is a massive reptile and probably the most feared predator in Africa. And with good reason. It is one of the very few animals for which human beings regularly feature on the menu.
Fascinating Facts About the Nile Crocodile
Crocodiles have the strongest bite in the animal kingdom. It's bite can exert a force eight times more powerful than that of a great white shark and 15 times more than a Rottweiler’s. Powerful muscles for closing the jaws, however, contrast with small, weak ones for opening them.
Female crocodiles use their massive jaws to transport newly hatched young to a ‘nursery pool’ where they guard them from predators.
Crocodiles are the most vocal of reptiles. Among more than five different calls are the deep, vibrating bellow of courting males and the ‘peeping’ of babies inside the egg. This 'peeping' encourages the female to excavate the nest.
Large crocodiles swallow stones, known as gastroliths. These act as ballast, helping them to balance their body underwater.
In Africa, the crocodile farms breed Nile crocodile which is the second largest breed after saltwater crocodile. The farming of Nile crocodile has become a lucrative business within the aquaculture sector in Africa.
The Nile crocodile is considered a high valued species for its boneless underbelly and soft leather. In contrast to traditional animal domestication, crocodile is farmed for its high valued skins and meat is the by-product. The crocodiles are slaughtered when four to five years mainly because the meat is tender and skin in good condition. Africa exports more than 250 000 crocodile skins. The skin is sold according to the belly width and a centimetre of first grade skin (top quality) of the reptile.