Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Crocodilia
Family Crocodylidae
Genus Crocodylus
Subfamily Crocodylinae
Scientific Name Crocodylus niloticus
Nile Crocodile
Nile Crocodile is eating a fish in its native habitat ©Miami New Times

Nile Crocodile Description

  • It is one of the largest crocodiles in the world—second only to Saltwater crocodile
  • Nile crocodiles are ambush hunters and they can wait for days to attack on its prey
  • They can sit still at the same spot for as long as 2 hours
  • The Nile crocodile is the largest of the African crocodiles
  • Nile crocodiles can swim for up to 30 minutes continuously

Size & Weight

Adult Male

  • TOTAL LENGTH: 3 to 5 m (10 ft 10 in to 16 ft 5 in)
  • WEIGHT: 150 to 700 kg (330 to 1,540 lb)
  • SKULL LENGTH: 4 to 5.6 m (17 ft 9 in to 18 ft 4 in)

Adult Female

  • TOTAL LENGTH: 2 to 3.8 m (7 ft 3 in to 12 ft 6 in)
  • WEIGHT: 40 to 250 kg (88 to 551 lb)

Hatchlings

  • TOTAL LENGTH: 280 and 300 mm (11 and 12 in)
  • WEIGHT: 70 g (2.5 oz)

Subspecies

East Africa Nile Crocodile, West African Nile Crocodile, Madagascar Nile Crocodile, South African Nile Crocodile, Ethiopian Nile Crocodile, Kenyan Nile Crocodile

Diet

Insects, invertebrates, Giant water bugs, crickets, beetles, crickets, dragonflies, water-spider, molluscs, striped mullet, fish, lungfish, African pikes, Nile perch, goliath tigerfish, frogs, African common toad, reed frog, east African black mud turtle, African rock python, forest cobra, puff adder, Nile monitor

Waterfowl, wading birds, African darters, geese, ducks, white-breasted cormorants, Egyptian geese, African fish eagles, weaver birds, bustards, ground hornbills

Monkeys, pangolins, dik-dik, shrews, hares, rodents, duikers, Thomson’s gazelle, African marsh rat, savanna swamp shrew, greater cane rat, oribi, shrews, suni, common rufous-nosed rat, Cape porcupines, water mongoose, African wildcats, servals, chacma baboons, gorillas, chimpanzees, aardvarks, African manatees, impala, reedbucks, kudu, bushbuck, eland, steenbok, gemsbok, roan antelopes, wildebeest

Habitat

Lakes, marshlands, rivers

Range

Somalia, Uganda, Central African Republic, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Tanzania, Gabon, Malawi, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sudan, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, South Sudan, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar

Reproduction

25 – 80 eggs

Incubation Period

90 days

Sexual Maturity

12 – 16 years

Nesting Season

December – February (also in August – December)

Biting Force

5,000 lbf (22 kN)

Number of teeth

64 – 68

Land Speed

12 to 14 km/h (7.5 to 8.7 mph)

Swimming Speed

30 to 35 km/h (19 to 22 mph)

Lifespan

  • 50 – 60 years (avg.)
  • 70 – 100 years (max.)

Predators of eggs

Egyptian mongoose, spotted hyenas, red flour beetle, vultures, buzzards, eagles, little egrets, saddle-billed storks, owls, goliath herons, African tigerfish, honey badgers

Conservation Status

Least Concern