10 Fascinating Facts About Crocodiles

Explore some interesting facts about crocodiles in this in-depth blog. Everything is not as it seems with these prehistoric creatures.

Oct 12, 2023By Nikita Hillier
facts crocodiles

Crocodiles have long been known as ravenous creatures who will take down anything in sight. Now, while they definitely do look vicious, there’s so much more to these ginormous creatures than meets the eye. In saying that, it is certainly a good idea to keep your distance as crocodiles are aggressive creatures who can severely harm both animals and humans.

10. Crocodiles Can Cry

up close crocodile laying sand bank
Image Credit: Pixabay

At least once in your life, you’ve likely heard someone use the expression “crocodile tears”. When used, this expression gets a point across regarding someone displaying insincere feelings of sadness. However, this expression comes directly from crocodiles and the way they consume their prey.

When crocodiles begin to devour their prey, they will start to “cry”. Obviously, they’re not crying as an act of sadness or remorse, which is how the term crocodile tears came about! Some people still don’t quite understand why they “cry” when eating their prey, but scientists believe it could have something to do with their behaviors activating their tear glands.

9. Crocodiles Have Sharp Senses

crocodile swimming submerged murky water
Image Credit: Pixabay

If you’ve ever seen a crocodile hunt, catch its prey, or socialize, you know just how sharp they can be. They can be very deceitful creatures that are often thought to be slow, but that couldn’t be more untrue. Crocodiles have very sharp senses that allow them to hunt and exist while being severely underestimated.

They are often very patient when in pursuit of something they want. They also hunt at night, which is made possible by their excellent vision, strong sense of touch, great hearing, and unique sense of smell. Nothing can get past a crocodile due to all these sharp senses.

8. Crocodiles Carry Offspring in Their Mouths

young baby crocodile up close
Image Credit: Skitterphoto on Pixabay

While crocodiles are known for being vicious, as stated above, some of their behavior is actually very nurturing, this one included. Despite their size and various other factors, crocodiles are very nurturing when it comes to their offspring. Crocodiles will always lay their eggs in nests, where they are then buried.

After they lay their eggs, they watch them lovingly until they hatch. Once the eggs have hatched, they put all the baby crocodiles in their mouths and carry them down to the water with the utmost level of care. The mouth will remain open to ensure that they don’t unintentionally hurt their babies.

7. Crocodiles Are Unable to Sweat

crocodile laying down sun mouth open
Image Credit: dMz on Pixabay

Not only are crocodiles unable to sweat, but they don’t even have any sweat glands at all. This may leave you wondering how crocodiles regulate their own temperature. Well, we can tell you that!

Crocodiles, by definition, are cold-blooded creatures. This means that they are unable to produce any heat from their body at all naturally. They regulate their temperature directly by moving around.

For example, if they are feeling chilly, they will enjoy the sun on a warm bank. If they’re too warm, they simply go for a nice swim! They also regulate their temperature by lying down with their mouths open.

Many times, when they do this, people think they are deceased, but if you see a crocodile doing this, stay away! You will notice that their tongues move as they breathe, which is a good indicator that they’re alive.

6. Crocodiles Swim Fast

large crocodile head water close up
Image Credit: Kelsey Wilkerson on Pexels

It’s probably clear, but crocodiles are absolutely fantastic swimmers. While they do live on land and in the water, their ability to swim excessively fast in water is unparalleled. In fact, they can swim up to a speed of 18mph! Although fast, they do not compare with the fastest marine animals.

5. Crocodiles Can Hold Their Breath Underwater

crocodile laying underwater murky water
Image Credit: I_Love_Bull_Terriers on Pixabay

I don’t know about you, but I personally struggle to hold my breath underwater for 20 seconds, let alone a whole hour or even two! Crocodiles have the incredible ability to hold their breath underwater for over an hour. When they are underwater, they are able to completely slow down their metabolism, which automatically lowers their heart rate to around 3 beats per minute.

This also lowers their need for oxygen, allowing them to stay underwater for much longer.

4. Crocodiles Eat Rocks

group crocodiles laying on sand
Image Credit: Will Mu on Pexels

Rocks certainly don’t seem like a nice meal, and they’re not! Swallowing stones is yet another weird behavior displayed by crocodiles. While it does sound strange, it can be VERY beneficial to their health.

Swallowing rocks can be helpful to crocodiles as it aids in digestion. When they devour large animals that are tough, or they swallow an animal whole, they need a little help grinding their food in their stomach. The only issue is that these stones can sometimes remain in their stomachs for years!

The crocodilian body is fascinating!

3. Crocodiles Have Lots of Teeth

close up crocodile head
Image Credit: J B on Pexels

Okay, this may sound obvious, but stay with us on this one. Crocodiles do have lots of teeth, even more than you may think! Newborn crocodiles begin with only 20 teeth.

When they get a little older, their baby teeth are replaced by a set of 32 adult teeth. Some crocodiles can even have up to 100+ teeth. Isn’t that cool?

Just wait, that isn’t even the coolest part. When crocodiles lose their teeth, they are able to replace them very quickly due to always having others on standby to replace them. Yes, crocodiles can replace their own teeth.

In fact, crocodiles can replace around 6000 teeth in their lifetime! Just when you thought these reptiles couldn’t get any cooler, they do!

2. Crocodiles Have the Strongest Bite in the World

crocodile swimming murky water
Image Credit: Los Muertos Crew on Pexels

Did you know that Nile crocodiles have the most powerful bite force in the entirety of the animal kingdom? We all know that crocodile bites can be devastating, but this makes the thought even worse! Nile crocodiles have a bite force of around 5000 psi which is pretty insane!

This makes their bite roughly 30 times more devastating than a human bite. Now it makes sense how they can take down such large prey. Crocodiles shouldn’t be confused with alligators which have a far smaller bite force.

1. Their Sharpest Teeth Aren’t Used for Prey

crocodile head swimming
Image Credit: Stewardesign on Pixabay

There’s no denying that crocodiles have some pretty scary-looking teeth. However, their sharpest teeth aren’t actually ever used for chewing purposes! In fact, the 24 sharp teeth in a crocodile’s mouth are only used to hold and crush prey.

They aren’t used for chewing at all!

Nikita Hillier
By Nikita Hillier

Nikita is a huge animal lover who has grown up on a farm with many different animals, from dogs and cats to horses and cows! She has a lot of experience in the equine industry and is even in the process of studying for an internationally accredited Equine Sports Massage Certificate! In her spare time, she enjoys writing and spending time with her beloved animals!