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  •   Pet Health And Care >>  Reptiles >>  Crocodile  
     

    Pet Crocodiles:

    Crocodiles are some of the most primitive forms of life on the planet and predate the existence of dinosaurs.



    Despite this ancient lineage, these reptiles are also some of the most advanced forms of the genus on the planet and evolution has done little to change these creatures because they are already masters of biological design. Some interesting crocodile facts include the existence of a four chambered heart as humans do and a modification of the bone structure that effectively gives them a diaphragm.



    This is a crucial point in the evolution of most species as the presence of a diaphragm allows for greater air intake into the lungs.

    Crocodile habitats include mostly freshwater bodies like lakes, rivers, and streams though they can also be found in areas of brackish water like swamps and bayous.



    This gives rise to two distinct species of crocodiles that are alike in most types of visual characteristics but differ greatly in demeanor. Freshwater crocodiles are known to be less aggressive and only attack when there is prey around or if disturbed. Salt water crocodiles on the other hand are extremely aggressive and will attack without provocation if their territorial integrity is compromised. Most crocodiles exhibited a feature called sexual dimorphism. This is a condition that describes the fact that most males of the species are much larger than the females to the point where females have to actually be quite wary of males if it is not mating season. Crocodiles are born from eggs that are laid on land in a compost heap created by a pregnant female. Unlike most animals, the sex of the young is not decided by genetic predisposition and the young carry no gender chromosomes. Gender is actually determined by ambient temperature, where it specifically requires a temperature of 31 degrees centigrade to produce a male and any temperature above or below this range will cause a female to develop.

    Crocodiles are curiously one of the few species that so precious for their skins that they are actually farmed for it. Crocodile farming is very lucrative and is predominant in nearly every country that has crocodiles. Curiously, this actually has a beneficial effect on the local, wild populations of the animal because poaching doesn’t work out to be lucrative. There are varying reports on the biggest specimens of this animal with equally horrifying stories to match. It is said that half a platoon of soldiers were wiped out in Burma from crocodile attacks.
     
      Submitted on January 21, 2010