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Crocodiles and False Gharials: Crocodylidae


Crocodiles are meat-eaters that shift from eating insects and spiders as youngsters to larger and larger animals as they grow. Adults of the largest crocodiles, like the Nile crocodile, eat animals as big as warthogs, cows, and sometimes humans. They are skilled hunters that sneak up on prey by ever so slowly swimming closer and closer, and then lunging out with mouth open to clamp down on the surprised animal. This method of sneaking up on prey is called stalking. Once the jaw snaps shut, the prey has little chance of escaping. With a captured mammal, the crocodile typically pulls it underwater, and when the animal drowns, tears off chunks to swallow. Crocodiles also hunt for prey by ambush, which means that they stay still in the water and wait for a prey animal to happen by. Besides live meals, crocodiles will also eat the dead animals they find.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesCrocodiles and False Gharials: Crocodylidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, American Crocodile (crocodylus Acutus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, FALSE GHARIALS CROCODILES AND PEOPLE