Related topics: dinosaurs · fossil

Extinct 'horned' crocodile gets new spot in the tree of life

A study led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History has resolved a long-standing controversy about an extinct "horned" crocodile that likely lived among humans in Madagascar. Based on ancient DNA, the research ...

Crocodile evolution rebooted by Ice Age glaciations

Crocodiles are resilient animals from a lineage that has survived for over 200 million years. Skilled swimmers, crocodiles can travel long distances and live in freshwater to marine environments. But they can't roam far overland. ...

African crocodiles lived in Spain six million years ago

Millions of years ago, several species of crocodiles of different genera and characteristics inhabited Europe and sometimes even coexisted. But among all these species, it was thought unlikely that crocodiles of the genus ...

Whale swims free of Australian river as 270 are stranded

A humpback whale has found its way back to sea weeks after getting lost in a murky, crocodile-infested river in northern Australia, while an estimated 270 pilot whales became stranded in the country's south.

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Crocodile

See full taxonomy.

A crocodile is any species belonging to the family Crocodylidae (sometimes classified instead as the subfamily Crocodylinae). The term can also be used more loosely to include all members of the order Crocodilia: i.e. the true crocodiles, the alligators and caimans (family Alligatoridae) and the gharials (family Gavialidae), or even the Crocodylomorpha which includes prehistoric crocodile relatives and ancestors. Crocodiles are large aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Crocodiles tend to congregate in freshwater habitats like rivers, lakes, wetlands and sometimes in brackish water. They feed mostly on vertebrates like fish, reptiles, and mammals, sometimes on invertebrates like mollusks and crustaceans, depending on species. They are an ancient lineage, and are believed to have changed little since the time of the dinosaurs. They are believed to be 200 million years old whereas dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago; crocodiles survived great extinction events.

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