- Name: Crocodile
- Family: Crocodylidae
- Type Species: Crocodylus niloticus
- Total Living Species: 15
- Lifespan: Between 35 and 75 years
- Diet: Carnivore
- Length: Between 4.9 and 23 feet (varies by species)
19 Crocodile Facts for Kids
- A crocodile is a large semiaquatic reptile that is a member of the Crocodylinae subfamily.
- The type species for crocodiles is the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus).
- There are 15 different living species of crocodiles in three different genera.
- The three different genera containing living species of crocodiles are Crocodylus (12 species), Osteolaemus (1 specie) and Mecistops (2 species).
- Crocodiles can be found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia.
- Some crocodile species live in freshwater, while others live in saltwater.
- The estimated lifespan of all species of crocodiles is between 30 and 40 years.
- The estimated lifespan of the larger species of crocodiles is between 60 and 70 years.
- Crocodiles are carnivores and considered apex predators. They hunt by ambushing their prey.
- Crocodiles have around 80 teeth and these teeth get replaced around 50 times during their life.
- Crocodile species vary in size, with lengths between 4.9 and 23 feet.
- Crocodile species vary in weight, weighing between 40 and 2,200 pounds.
- The dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) is the smallest living species of crocodile.
- The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is estimated to be the largest living species of crocodile.
- The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) has the strongest bite of all living animals. Their bite can produce up to 5,000 pounds per square inch.
- The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is most endangered crocodile species in the wild. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has their conservation status as critically endangered.
- Crocodiles are very dangerous to humans, and it’s estimated that around 1,000 people a year are killed by a crocodile.
- The saltwater and Nile crocodile are the cause of most human deaths from a crocodile.
- You can tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator by looking at their snot. Crocodiles have pointed snots, and their upper and lower jaw is equal in size.
A close-up picture of the head of a nile crocodile.
Credit: Paul Kane / Flickr
A close-up picture of a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).
Credit: Yusuke Fukuda
A diagram comparting a crocodile and an alligator.
Additional Resources with Crocodile Facts
- Crocodile Facts and Pictures – Find more crocodile facts and view amazing pictures of them on the Live Science website.
- The Crocodile “Death Roll” – Learn more about the infamous death roll used by crocodiles on the Scientific American website.
- Crocodiles: Survivors of the Last Extinction – An excellent video about crocodiles on the YouTube website produced by Animalogic.