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My ancestors knew Cleopatra

My ancestors knew Cleopatra

Nile Crocodile
Crocodylus niloticus

Largest of all African crocodiles, Nile crocodiles have the dubious distinction of being second on top of te list of animals causing human deaths in Africa. Only hippos, surprisingly, are ahead of them. But all this may be due to the ecology rather than the animal nature as there are other crocodiles such as Salties that do attack humans.

Nile crocodiles were Gods and Executioners for the ancient pharoahs. But they have a great role to perform in ecological balance. They scavenge keeping habitats clean and they eat catfish who are voracious predators of other fish which are food to numerous bird species whose droppings are nutrients for the water organisms.. But for these crocs this system would be seriously upset.

Interesting thing about Nile Crocs is unlike many other crocs they are highly social and relatively intelligent. They are said to catch fish cooperatively. These creatures are currently under threat because of habitat loss and most importantly illegal hunting.

Nile Crocs are valued highly for their skin (just like the siamese crocs), various body parts, thought to be miracle cures or sold as souvenirs to tourists. Hence they are prime target of poachers.

These fearsome giants let Plovers sit inside their open mouths and let them clean the teeth. Wonders of nature!

See all the crocodile pictures in this stream.

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Photo taken on 8 October 2005 (© Pandiyan / Flickr)

Related tags :
 pandiyan, chennai, croc, mcbt, crocodile, nile crocodile, crocodilian

Croc Photos