Crocodiles are the world’s largest reptile. They look like a relic of the dinosaur days, and indeed their family is very ancient – one of the oldest on earth.
Most reptiles live permanently on land, but crocodiles divide their time between land and water. Though they’re the biggest of the reptiles, not all are large. OfAfrica’s three species, the West African dwarf crocodile rarely grows longer then two meters. The Nile crocodile is Africa’s largest and best-known – lay three tall men end-to-end and put the weight of fourteen together and you have the equivalent of a big Nile crocodile. Crocodiles can live to a hundred years. During that time, they never stop growing – they just keep getting bigger and bigger.
The crocodiles of Africa’s wild places have a great number of competitors and an even greater variety of prey. Over millions of years, these two factors have honed them into versatile, opportunistic hunters – master predators, old as the dinosaurs, a legacy of Tyrannosaurus Rex.