Here are some fascinating facts about the Nile crocodile.
- The latin name for Nile Crocodile is Crocodylus niloticus.
- Nile crocodiles can live to be over 40 years old.
- They can grow to be about 6 metres long and can weigh over 700 kg.
- They are the largest species of crocodilian in Africa.
- Nile crocodiles are carnivores (they eat only meat). They mainly eat fish, but will also go for small hippos, zebras and birds if they get the chance. They will also eat carrion (the meat from animals that they haven’t killed themselves).
- Nile crocodiles will also attack and eat humans. Each year it is estimated that between 100 and 200 people are killed by these reptiles.
- The Nile crocodile nearly became extinct in the middle of the twentieth century, but they are now a protected species and the population has risen.
Facts about the Nile Crocodile in Ancient Egypt
- Mummified crocodiles and their eggs have been found in the tombs of Ancient Egyptians.
- The Nile crocodiles were worshipped in Ancient Egypt and the god Sobek had the head of a crocodile.
- The goddess Ammut (the female devourer) was also associated with the Nile crocodile.
- Crocodiles often appeared in tomb carvings.
- The moat around a fort at Sile was apparently filled with Nile crocodiles.
- The Ancient Egyptians did hunt the Nile crocodile using harpoons.
- Attempts were made to tame crocodiles and they were often kept in the houses of rich people where they were decorated with jewels and allowed to roam freely!
- The Ancient Egyptians believed that praying to Sobek would protect you against being attacked by Nile crocodiles.