Nile Crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus
January 2010

SDZ Global Logo


Image credit: David Schenfeld on Flickr

TAXONOMY & NOMENCLATURE
(Benton 1985) (Brochu 2001) (Brochu & Densmore 2001) (Carroll 1988) (Harper 2001) (Hekkala et al 2009) (Janke & Arnason 1997, 2005) (King & Burke 1997) (Parker 2009) (Summers 2005)(Sereno 2001)(Seymour et al 2004) (Trutnau & Sommerlad 2006)

Describer (Date): Laurenti: 1768. Spec. Med. Synops. Rept. 53

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Reptilia
             Order: Crocodylia (8 genera, 22 species)
                  Suborder: Eusuchia (modern crocodilians)
                      Family: Alligatoridae (7 species)
                      Family: Crocodylidae (crocodiles and relatives; includes extinct members)
                          Subfamily: Crocodylinae (13 species, 2 genera) - True crocodiles.
                             Genus: Osteolaemus
                                  Species: Osteolaemus tetraspis (African Dwarf Crocodile)
                             Genus: Crocodylus
                                  Species: Crocodylus niloticus
                          Subfamily: Tomistominae (1 species) - False Gharial
                          Subfamily: Gavialinae (1 species) - Indian Gharial
                            
                                       
Taxonomic History and Nomenclature

           Common name: Nile Crocodile. Mamba in Swahili, Garwe in Shona. (Harper 2001)

           Scientific name: Crocodylus niloticus is derived from the Greek kroko ("pebble") referring to the rough texture of the skin and deilos ("worm"); niloticus means "of the Nile River (Africa) ". Herodotus used "krokodilos" to describe a lizard in the Ionic dialect of Greek. Later, Ionians applied this term to creatures in Egypt they thought similar. (Parker 2009)

Phylogeny

DISTRIBUTION & HABITAT
(Brochu 2001) (Dessauer et al 2002)(Grenard 1991) (Hekkala et al 2009) (Pooley & Gans 1976) (Ross 1998) (Trutnau & Sommerlad 2006)

Distribution Habitat:

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
(Brazaitis 1989)(Britton 2003, 2009) (Carroll 1988) (Cott 1975) (Franklin & Grigg 1993) (Franklin & Axelsson 1994) (Huchzermeyer 2003)(Koshiba-Takeuchi et al 2009) (Kumazawa & Nishida 1995) (Lance et al 2000) (Leslie 2001) (Leslie & Taplin 2001) (Pooley and Gans 1976) (Seebacher et al 1999) (Seymour et al 2004) (Shute & Bellairs 1955) (Summers 2005) (Trutnau & Sommerlad 2006)

Body Weight: 70 - 100 kg (154-220 lb); adults weighing 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) have been reported. (Pooley & Gans 1976)
Total Body Length: 2 - 3.3 m (6.6-10.8 ft); maximum recorded body length from snout to tip of tail is 5 m (16 ft) (Pooley & Gans 1976).
Skull length: About one half to two thirds of total body length.


General Skin Sexual Dimorphism Other Physical Characteristics

BEHAVIOR & ECOLOGY

(BBC Wildlife Magazine 2009) (Britton 2001,2003) (Campbell 1973) (Cott 1961, 1975) (Crocodile Specialist Group 1996) (Downs 2008) (Frey & Salisbury 2000) (Garrick & Lang 1977) (Huchzermeyer 2003) (Kofron 1990) (Loveridge 1984) (Modha 1967, 1868) (Pooley & Gans 1976) (Romero 1983) (Seebacher et al 2003) (Spotilla et al 1977) (Trutnau & Sommerlad 2006) (Webb & Manolis 1989)



Activity Cycle Territory Size Social Groups

      General       Hierarchy       Territorial Behavior       Aggression

Communication

Visual Signs and Displays

      Vocalization       Olfaction/Scent Marking
Locomotion Interspecies Interaction

DIET & FEEDING
(Brazaitis 1969) (Cott 1975) (Grenard1991) (Pooley & Gans 1976)


REPRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
(Bishop 2009) (Britton 2003) (Cott 1961, 1975) (Leslie 2001)(Ferguson 1985) (Hutton 1987) (Modha 1967) (Rhodes & Lang 1996) (Trutnau & Sommerlad 2006)


General