World of Dinosaurs/Animals to Know/Crocodylus

Illustration of a crocodile for teaching.

Basics edit

Crocodylus is the latin name for the crocodile.

Anatomy edit

Crocodiles have short legs with webbed feet.

They have very powerful bite forces, but the muscles to open their jaws are very weak.

Note the short legs.

Phylogeny edit

Crocodiles are alive today, and are related to a great variety of animals that lived during the time of large dinosaurs.

Biomechanics edit

Salt water crocodiles have a bite force of 3,700 pounds per square inch, or 16,460 Newtons.

Fossil Record edit

Ancient crocodilians have been found as far back as the Jurassic Period.

The oldest true crocodile fossil is 95 million years old and was found in Portugal.

Deinosuchus was one of the larges ancient crocodilians.

Ecology edit

Crocodiles are semiaquatic animals.

They tend to live in fresh water bodies, though some can live in salt water.

They are carnivorous and can eat a wide variety of species.

Crocodiles in Africa are perhaps the most famous due to the abundance of nature documentaries on them.

Biogeography edit

They live in fresh water bodies, though some species live in salt water.