They are the world's largest living reptiles and can grow up to 23 feet. They are also one of the most ancient, having existed unchanged for nearly two hundred million years. Crocodiles are adept at learning and memorising routines, such as the location of nearby campers or the routes of travellers. In water, they tend to drag their prey under and drown them.
Crocodiles can be found basking along river banks, Fresh Water Crocodiles in Australia can grow to about 3 metres. Main habitats include wetlands, rivers, creeks, freshwater billabongs and swamps. They display fairly wide habitat preferences (clear water, muddy, still, fast flowing, shallow or deep). Salt Water Crocodiles can also frequent ocean habitats as well as rivers and freshwater marshes near where people live. Their maximum size is enormous, more than 20 feet.
When a crocodile warms-up, their heart rate increases and more blood flows to the surface. This speeds up heat intake and distribution through the body. Crocodiles are protected in many parts of the world, but they also are farmed commercially.
Crocodiles are hunted for their meat, their skin (which is made into leather), and their musk (which is used in perfumes). Because of hunting and destruction of their habitat most crocodile species are endangered.
The adult crocodiles are conditioned to respond to distress calls of the young. Despite parental care, mortality in hatchling crocodiles is generally over 90% due to predators like fishes, crabs, snakes, monitor lizards, raptors, large wading birds, mongooses, foxes, and jackals.
Crocodiles are fast over very short distances out of water. They have extremely powerful jaws capable of biting down with 3,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, and sharp teeth for tearing flesh, but cannot open their mouth if it is held closed.
These crocodiles make their home in inland freshwater rivers, billabongs and swamps of northern Australia. they are generally very timid and primarily eat insects and small fish. As with all native wildlife these amazing creatures should be treated with respect and not interfered with. Despite passage of wildlife protection laws at the national level, communities are often unaware that crocodiles are officially protected.
Freshwater crocodiles are common in the Kimberley , where they bask in and around rivers, lakes and pools in gorges. While they may look ferocious, they are relatively harmless.
Saltwater crocodiles can be dangerous, they are also quite capable of living in the open ocean for periods of time and will cross large expanses of water to reach new areas. Young crocodiles are about 30 centimeters (1 foot) long at birth. After that, they will grow about 25 centimeters per year (10 inches) until they reach six years of age. Saltwater crocodiles are big and awe-inspiring. Males reaching 5 m long regularly and some odd individuals reaching 6-7 meters.
Females will lay up to 50 eggs in a large pile of vegetation, sand and soil, usually on the banks of a river, swamp or estuary. They also point out that because saltwater crocodiles are migratory, rivers cannot be assumed to be croc free, as a croc could have moved in recently.
These reptiles are very intelligent and instinctive, and have great memory capabilities. If something causes a crocodile stress it will avoid that cause of stress for the rest of its life. The adult crocodiles are said to feed on anything it can outswim or ambush and overpower. Odd objects like chunks of wood, pebbles and even rocks are found in crocodiles stomach.