THE NILE CROCODILE – Crocodylus niloticus
CAPTURED LOCATION: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, South Africa, Elephants river.
Total Length 2,5 – 3,5 m; max 5,9m
Nile crocodiles may exceptionally exceed 1 000kg in weight. The jaws are long, and have prominent teeth. The eyes and valved nostrils are situated on top of the head. The skin is covered with geometrically arranged, horny plates, many of which are keeled and bony. The plates on top of the head are fused to the skull. The hind feet are webbed. The tail is 40% of the toal body length, rectangular in cross-section and has two raised dorsal keels. The young are greenish, with irregular black markings on the back and sides.
Habitat: Larger rivers, lakes, swamps and river mouths.
Range: Okavango Basin, Cunene River and major rivers draining to the east coast, south Tugela River (historically to East london) Viable populations now restricted mainly to game reserves. Elsewhere, on Madagascar (indicating limited marine excursions) and throughout Africa (except at high altitudes and in deserts). Now extinct on other Indian Ocean islands and in coastal Mediteranean regions.
Subspecies: A number have been proposed, based on minor differences in scutellation; they are all of doubtful validity.