Photos

Photographer's Note

This Nile Crocodile was resting on the banks of the Chobe River inside Chobe National Park. He was app 4 meters long and quite an impressive site.
It was amazing to see how he just laid there watching not moving a muscle even though one tourist decided to get brave and get on to the bank to get a better photo... I on the other hand did not feel like tempting fate and stayed on the boat and got this shot from a safe distance.

About the Nile Crocodile from Wikipedia:
Nile crocodiles have a dark bronze colouration above, with black spots on the back and a dirty yellow on the belly. The flanks, which are yellowish green in colour, have dark patches arranged in oblique stripes. There is some variation relative to environment; specimens from swift flowing waters tend to be lighter in colour than those dwelling in lakes or swamps. Their eyes are green.

Like all crocodiles, they are quadrupeds with four short, splayed legs; long, powerful tails; a scaly hide with rows of ossified scutes running down their back and tail; and powerful jaws. They have nictitating membranes to protect their eyes and have lachrymal glands, and can cleanse their eyes with tears.

Nostrils, eyes, and ears are situated on the tops of their head, so the rest of the body can remain concealed underwater. Their coloration also helps them hide: Juveniles are grey, dark olive, or brown; with darker cross-bands on their tail and body. As they mature they become darker and the cross-bands fade, especially those on the body. The underbelly is yellowish, and makes high-quality leather.

They normally crawl along on their bellies, but they can also "high walk" with their trunks raised above the ground. Smaller specimens can gallop, and even larger crocodiles are capable of surprising bursts of speeds, briefly reaching up to 12 to 14 km/h (7.5 to 8.5 mi/h). They can swim much faster by moving their body and tail in a sinouous fashion, and they can sustain this form of movement much longer at about 30 to 35 km/h.

They have a four-chambered heart, like a bird, which is especially efficient at oxygenating their blood. They normally dive for only a couple of minutes, but will stay underwater for up to 30 minutes if threatened, and if they remain inactive they can hold their breath for up to 2 hours. They have an ectothermic metabolism, so they can survive a long time between meals though when they do eat, they can eat up to half their body weight at a time.
The bite force exerted by an adult Nile crocodile has been shown by Doctor Brady Barr to measure 5,000 lbf (22 kN). However, the muscles responsible for opening the mouth are exceptionally weak, allowing a man to easily hold them shut with a small amount of force.[2] Their mouths are filled with a total of 64 to 68 cone-shaped teeth. On each side of the mouth, there are 5 teeth in the front of the upper jaw (the premaxilla), 13 or 14 in the rest of the upper jaw (the maxilla), and 14 or 15 on either side of the lower jaw (the mandible). Hatchlings quickly lose a hardened piece of skin on the top of their mouth called the egg tooth, which they use to break through their egg's shell at birth.
The Nile crocodile is the largest crocodilian in Africa and is sometimes regarded as the second largest crocodilian after the Saltwater crocodile, usually measuring between 3.3 and 5 m (11 and 16 feet), but can grow to 6 m (20 ft). Good sized males weigh 500 kg (1100 lb), but can also reach up to 2000 lbs (909 kg). The largest accurately measured male was shot near Mwanza, Tanzania and measured 6.45 m (21.3 ft) and weighed aproximately 1,090 kg (2,400 lb). Like all crocodiles they are sexually dimorphic, with the males up to 30% larger than the females, though the difference is even more in some species, like the Saltwater crocodile. Mature female nile crocodiles can grow to about 4 meters (13 feet) and weigh more than 300 kg (660 lbs).

Seven meter (23 ft) specimens and larger have been reported, but since gross overestimation of size is common these reports are suspect. The largest living specimen is purported to be a man-eater from Burundi named Gustave; he is believed to be approximately 20 feet long. Such giants are rare today; before the heavy hunting of the 1940s and 1950s, a larger population base and more extensive wetland habitats meant more giants.

There is some evidence that Nile crocodiles from cooler climates like the southern tip of Africa are smaller, and may reach lengths of only 4 m (13 ft). Dwarf Nile crocodiles also exist in Mali and in the Sahara desert, which reach only 2 to 3 m (6.5 to 10 ft) in length. Their reduced size is probably the result of the less than ideal environmental conditions, not genetics.

sevy has marked this note useful

Photo Information
Viewed: 2262
Points: 6
Discussions
  • None
Additional Photos by Maria Petersen (pisces) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 49 W: 3 N: 94] (782)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH