July 26, 2011
|Mongabay.com features a Picture of the Day several days a week|
Baby Nile crocodile caught for a population study in Gabon. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.
One day this baby Nile crocodile could reach 20 feet (6 meters) long.
Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) range throughout sub-Saharan Africa and even make their home on the island of Madagascar. A top predator, these massive reptilians play a big role in ecosystems and are willing to pretty much anything they can grab, including at times an unlucky person. However, much of their diet is fish.
Nile crocodiles are listed as Lower Risk by the IUCN Red List, though they haven't been evaluated for over a decade. Heavily hunted, the population was brought to its knees until conservation measures and protections were put in place.
More crocodiles and alligators.