Nile crocodiles, or Crocodylus niloticus, are large, reptilian predators that can grow up to 20 feet (6.096 meters) in length, amassing more than 1,500 pounds (680.388 kilograms). The average weight of a Nile crocodile is usually about 500 pounds (226.796 kilograms), with most specimens growing to be about 16 feet (4.8768 meters) in length. Nile crocodiles are quadrupeds, noted by their short legs, long tail, and thick scaly hide on their backs.
The Nile crocodile has gained a reputation of being a man-eater. Due to humans encroaching onto crocodilian territory, there has been a steady rise of human and crocodile contact. It is not uncommon for crocodiles to pull local villagers into lakes or rivers while bathing or hunting.
Once commonly found in the archipelago of Seychelles, the Nile crocodile can now be seen in various regions of Africa. Like the name suggests, the Nile crocodile is most often found in the Nile delta and marshes of Somalia, Tanzania, and Egypt. In West Africa, the crocodile appears in estuaries and lagoons, with most crocodiles in East Africa frequently found in rivers and dams. Some have also been discovered far out in the seas surrounding Africa.
The Nile crocodile has many distinct features, including its main color, which tends to be a dark bronze with some scales having a gradient between dark brown and a pale green. There tends to be a correlation between the crocodile and its environment, as crocodiles that live in moving water like rivers tend to be lighter in color due to friction. The eyes and nostrils are located on the top of the crocodile's head, while the rest of the animal's body stays submerged in water. This allows the crocodile to execute stealth attacks on its prey. The eyes on a Nile crocodile are unique, as a clear film called the nictitating membranes act as windshield wipers, allowing the crocodile to observe its surroundings at all times.
Nile crocodiles are noted to be opportunistic eaters. They are known to eat decomposing animal matter, zebras, cranes, smaller crocodiles, and any animal that they are able to overpower that has wandered a bit too close to the water's edge. Like other crocodiles, the Nile crocodile uses a technique called the "death roll" to destroy its prey. In a death roll, the crocodile takes ahold of the victim and then ferociously turns its body to break off a piece. If the crocodile is able to take a hold of a vital spot on the animal's body, then the animal will instantaneously die due to trauma.