Crocodiles are one of the most famous reptiles that belong to the crocodilian family. This means that crocodiles are closely related to caimans, alligators, and the Indian Gharial.
Crocodiles have been on our planet for many millennia. These animals are easily recognized due to their specific appearance – very long body with a long tail and strong jaws filled with sharp and powerful teeth. Crocs belong to the group of semi-aquatic animals which means that they live in the water but they have to go out from time to time. There are 14 species of crocodiles and they live in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. They can be found in rivers, close to the coast, estuaries and even in the open sea. Their tail is one of the most important parts of their body because they use it to swim and to get “boost” when they are attacking other animals.
All the crocodiles are carnivores and some of them are known as extraordinary hunters, like the Saltwater crocodile and the Nile crocodile which are also one of the largest crocodile species (they can reach 1000 kg).
How long do crocodiles live?
After crocodiles reach a certain age, their physical appearance tends to remain same until they eventually die. This is one of the reasons why measuring the age of this reptile is so difficult. If you are asking yourself “how long do crocodiles live?”, you should take a few things into account.
Scientists today use a few different methods to determine the age of crocodiles even though none of these methods is completely accurate. One of the most used techniques is to take precise measures of the teeth’s and bones’ lamellar growth rings. These rings usually show the changes that happened with the growth of the crocodile and these changes usually occur once a year.
Since there are 14 different species of crocodiles we must take all of them into account when determining the average lifespan. So, the average lifespan of all crocodiles is between 30 and 40 years. Of course, the crocodiles that are a little bit larger can live longer. For instance, the Nile Crocodile lives between 60 and 70 years just like the American crocodile. In addition, the Saltwater crocodile has an average lifespan of 70 and there are unconfirmed reports that some of them have reached the age of 100. The same goes for different species of crocodiles kept in zoos and similar facilities. For example, according to the official at the Yekaterinburg Zoo in Russia, a male crocodile that lived there died when he was 115 years old. There was a freshwater crocodile in the Australia Zoo that was between 120 and 140 years old when it died. With a proper diet, crocodiles in captivity can double their lifespan.
The biggest threat to crocodiles and the number one reason why some of them die younger is human behavior. Humans hunt crocodiles for different reasons and they are also limiting their natural habitat. There are cases of roadkills too.