acerebral cortex;and a four-chamberedheart. Their external morphology on the other hand is a sign of their aquatic and predatory lifestyle. A crocodile’s physical traits allow it to be a successful predator .They have a streamlined body that enables them to swim swiftly. Crocodiles also tuck their feetto their sides while swimming, which makes them faster by decreasing water resistance. Theyhave webbed feet which, although not used to propel the animal through the water, allow it tomake fast turns and sudden moves in the water or initiate swimming. Webbed feet are anadvantage in shallower water where the animals sometimes move around by walking.Crocodiles have a palatal flap, a rigid tissue at the back of the mouth that blocks the entry of water. The palate has a special path from the nostril to the glottis that bypasses the mouth. Thenostrils are closed during submergence. Like other archosaurs, crocodilians arediapsid, althoughtheir post-temporalfenestraeare reduced. The walls of the braincase are bony but they lack supratemporal and postfrontal bones.
Crocodilian scales have pores that are believed to be sensory, analogous to thelateral lineinfishes. They are particularly seen on their upper and lower jaws. Another possibility is that theyare secretory, as they produce an oily substance that appears to flush mud off.
Crocodiles are very fast over short distances, even out of water. Since crocodiles feed bygrabbing and holding onto their prey, they have evolved sharp teeth for tearing and holding ontoflesh, and powerful muscles that close the jaws and hold them shut. These jaws can bite downwith immense force, by far the strongest bite of any animal. The crocodile's bite force is morethan 5,000 pounds per square inch (340 atm),
compared to just 335 pounds per square inch(22.8 atm) for arottweiler , 400 pounds per square inch (27 atm) for a largegreat white shark , or 800 pounds per square inch (54 atm) to 1,000 pounds per square inch (68 atm) for ahyena.The jaws are opened, however, by a very weak set of muscles. Crocodiles can thus be subdued for study or transport bytapingtheir jaws or holding their jaws shut with largerubber bandscutfrom automobileinner tubes.All crocodiles have sharp and powerful claws. They have limitedlateral (side-to-side) movement in their neck.There is no reliable way of measuring crocodile age, although several techniques are used toderive a reasonable guess. The most common method is to measure lamellar growth rings in bones and teeth—each ring corresponds to a change in growth rate which typically occurs once ayear between dry and wet seasons.
Bearing these inaccuracies in mind, the oldest crocodiliansappear to be the largest species.
is estimated to live around 70 years on average, andthere is limited evidence that some individuals may exceed 100 years. One of the oldestcrocodiles recorded died in a zoo in Russia. A male freshwater crocodile at theAustralia Zooisestimated to be 130 years old. He was rescued from the wild byBob IrwinandSteve Irwinafter being shot twice by hunters. As a result of the shootings, this crocodile (known affectionately as"Mr. Freshy") has lost his right eye.
grow to an adult size of just 1 metre (3.3 ft) to 1.5 metres(4.9 ft). Larger species can reach over 4.85 metres (15.9 ft) long and weigh well over 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb). Crocodilians show pronouncedsexual dimorphismwith malesgrowing much larger and more rapidly than females.
Despite their large adult size, crocodilesstart their life at around 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long. The largest species of crocodile is thesaltwater crocodile, found in northern Australia, throughoutsouth-east Asia, and in thesurrounding waters.The largest recorded crocodile is a giant saltwater crocodile measured at 8.6 metres (28 ft) and1,352 kilograms (2,980 lb) shot inAustralia,Queenslandin 1957. A replica of this crocodile has been made as a tourist attraction.
Two larger certifiable records are both of 6.2 metres (20 ft) crocodiles. The first crocodile wasshot in theMary River in the Northern Territoryof Australiain 1974 by poachers and measured by wildlife rangers.
The second crocodile was killed in 1983 in theFly River ,Papua New Guinea.In the case of the second crocodile it was actually the skin that was measured byzoologist Jerome Montague, and as skins are known to underestimate the size of the actualanimal, it is possible this crocodile was at least another 10cm longer a large saltwater crocodile that attacked boatsThe largest crocodile ever held in captivity is an Estuarine–Siamese hybrid named Yai (Thai:
) at the famousSamutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo,Thailand. This animal measures 6 metres (20 ft) in length and weighs 1,114.27 kilograms(2,456.5 lb).The largest captive crocodile alive in the US is located in South Carolina. In June 2002, Alligator Adventure introduced Utan. At 20 feet (6.1 m) long and weighing in at more than a ton, "Utan",the largest crocodile to ever be exhibited in the United States, made his new home in MyrtleBeach.Another huge captive specimen was asaltwater crocodilenamedGomek . Gomek was captured by George Craig in Papua New Guinea and sold to St. Augustine Alligator Farm inFlorida,USA. Gomek died of heart disease in February 1997. When he died, he was 5.5 metres (18 ft)long—as confirmed by St. Augustine Alligator Farm
—and probably between 70 and 80years old.Yet another enormous crocodile, namedGustaveby the Africans who have seen him, isresponsible for over 300 human deaths, and allegedly ate an entire adulthippopotamus.He alsostars in a film titled