Crocodiles are known to be opportunistic hunters who will eat just about anything that ends up in their territory. But how do they hunt? Learn about the hunting tactics of these ancient creatures!
The crocodiles hunt by ambushing their prey in the water and finally hunt while their prey comes for drinking or bathing in the water. After catching its prey, a crocodile drags it into the water and drowns it, and eats them as a whole.
Crocodiles are the largest of all reptiles and can grow up to 20 feet long in some species. Even with their size, they have an amazing ability to sneak up on prey from surprising distances and can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour in open water.
Let’s unveil some more facts about the creature’s hunting habits.
Do alligators attack in deep water?
Have you ever wondered whether alligators attack people in deep water?
It is true that alligators do attack in deep water. In fact, alligator attacks are so common that studies suggest that those who live in alligator-friendly areas have a 1 in 2.4 million chance of being attacked by this crazy animal.
Florida shares the maximum number of alligators population of around 1.3 million, this is why Florida witnessed the highest number of alligator attacks. For instance- four people in Florida have already been attacked by alligator in 2022
It may be hard to believe, but alligators can indeed attack in deep water. This is because they have little trouble swimming through water that’s as deep as 20 feet, and sometimes even deeper than that.
The average American alligator can grow up to 14 feet long, which means you’ll likely only see them in the shallows.
How do crocodiles hunt underwater?
Despite their fearsome reputation as predators, how exactly do crocodiles hunt underwater in between the high water tides is still debatable.
Whenever crocodiles hunt underwater, they open their mouths and snap their jaws exactly as they do on land. The only difference is that due to the dense water their bite power is not as powerful as it is on land.
Image Credits: “There are separate sets of cages, depending on the age of the crocodiles” by shankar s. is licensed under CC BY 2.0
There is a 3,700 PSI force generated by the bite of a crocodile on land. Though the bite force underwater has not been measured, logic indicates that it is lower than on land.
Crocodiles can catch their prey quickly when they are underwater because crocodiles are fast swimmers. Despite their stumbling abilities, they have been able to swim up to 18 mph (29 km/h) which is faster than they are on land.
They are also capable of holding their breath underwater for longer durations. All these factors when combined make them ideal hunters underwater.
How do crocodiles eat underwater?
They have a unique feeding mechanism that enables them to feed on fish and other water-based animals.
In crocs, water cannot enter the throat due to a special valve at the back of their throats (called the palatal valve). It follows that all crocodilian species are capable of opening their mouths and biting, even while submerged, and this is how the majority of crocodiles eat underwater.
However, it also depends upon the environment, for instance, in a place where there are many crocs they will drag and eat their prey underwater, and in less crowded areas they will just eat them on land.
Thus with their palatal valves helping them to chew they can live in the water and feed on fish, mammals, birds, and anything else they can catch with their powerful jaws.
Do crocodiles attack on land?
Crocodiles can be found in many different kinds of habitats, including deserts, grasslands, and forests, which makes people think they can attack on land.
Crocodiles indeed attack on land, but they do not attack as frequently as they do on the water. In fact, in Australia almost 8.5% of crocodiles attack on land. The attack most commonly occurred when the people were swimming, walking through the water, or just lying at the shore.
Each year, approximately 1,000 people are killed by crocodiles.
Crocodiles are formidable predators with the ability to drag most creatures into the water and feast on them with little resistance. This power extends to land.
Therefore, swimming or snorkeling in areas with crocodiles is never a good idea. While at a river or beach inhabited by crocs, avoid getting too close to the water’s edge.
How do crocodiles attack on land?
Crocodiles are actually quite adaptable predators that can attack both on land and in water. But how they attack on land is still unexplored.
Crocodiles have a strong sense of smell that allows them to sense the smell of their prey and humans even from far away. Thus, even when underwater they can attack on land with the help of their strong sense of smell.
In addition to their excellent sense of smell, these creatures also possess great hearing abilities around 100- 3000Hz which allow them to hear humans even from a great distance away.
They can move surprisingly fast when they want to catch prey or fight off enemies on land
When do crocodiles attack?
There are many facts about crocodiles that may shock you, as well as some things you probably didn’t know! One of these is when do crocodiles attack?
Crocodiles are known to attack humans and animals on land as well as in water, but mostly when provoked or defending themselves against an imminent threat. They are also known to attack for food, to defend their offspring, and sometimes mistakenly.
The studies also suggest that despite the fact that crocodiles are ferocious animals they do not always attack humans and only get provoked under certain circumstances.
How to avoid crocodile attacks?
Crocodile attacks are common but there are many different things that you can do in order to stay safe while swimming or bathing near crocodile-infested waters.
Crocodile attacks can be avoided by being aware of crocodile presence, staying away from the water’s edge, not camping near water, or by taking care when in boats.
Their strong jaws, sharp teeth, and aggressive behavior can spell death if you’re not careful! Although they avoid humans, and will only attack if they are startled or provoked.
In the end, one of the most fascinating aspects of crocodilians is not what they hunt but how they hunt. These predators are incredibly stealthy and can attack their prey from the water or on land.