Nile Crocodile Skull
Nile Crocodile skull Replica. Crocodylus niloticus. Widespread over Southern Africa.
* Size 18 inch (46cm)
* Material: Museum quality replicas are cast in durable Polyurethane resins.
* Made in USA
The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is one of the four species of the Kate crocodiles found in Africa, and the second largest species of crocodile. Nile crocodiles can be found throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara, and on the island of Madagascar.
Nostrils, eyes, and ears are situated on the tops of their head, so the rest of the body can remain concealed underwater. Their coloration also helps them hide: Juveniles are grey, dark olive, or brown; with darker cross-bands on their tail and body. As they mature they become darker and the cross-bands fade, especially those on the body. The underbelly is yellowish, and makes high-quality leather.
They normally crawl along on their bellies, but they can also "high walk" with their trunks raised above the ground. Smaller specimens can gallop, and even larger crocodiles are capable of surprising bursts of speeds, briefly reaching up to 12 to 14 km/h (7.5 to 8.5 mi/h). They can swim much faster by moving their body and tail in a sinuous fashion, and they can sustain this form of movement much longer at about 30 to 35 km/h.
They have a four-chambered heart, like a bird, which is especially efficient at oxygenating their blood. They normally dive for only a couple of minutes, but will stay underwater for up to 30 minutes if threatened, and if they remain inactive they can hold their breath for up to 2 hours. They have an ectothermic metabolism, so they can survive a long time between meals. They can eat up to half their body weight at a time.
Their jaws are capable of exerting impressive force as they hold on to their prey. Their mouths are filled with a total of 64 to 68 cone-shaped teeth. On each side of the mouth, there are 5 teeth in the front of the upper jaw (the premaxilla), 13 or 14 in the rest of the upper jaw (the maxilla), and 14 or 15 on either side of the lower jaw (the mandible). Hatchlings quickly lose a hardened piece of skin on the top of their mouth called the egg tooth, which they use to break through their egg's shell at birth.
Nile crocodiles in captivity have lived up to 56 years, but scientists estimate that in their natural habitat, they can live 70 - 100 years.
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