Crocodile Creek: 24-Hour Rescue Series by Marion Lennox
How Do Crocodiles Give Birth?
The alligator uses its powerful tail to propel itself through water. While alligators move very quickly in water, they are generally slow-moving on land. They can, however, move quickly for short distances. Alligators are a keystone species benefiting the marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes where they live and many other species found within their natural community. Crocodiles are gray-green or olive-green. There are a few visible differences between alligators and crocodiles.
Crocodile breeding season varies according to the species' envionment, but regardless of these differences, all female crocodiles appear to follow one of two birthing practices: they either build a nest or dig a hole. The time between mating and egg laying varies slightly between species.
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Giving birth to live young is one of the traits we use to distinguish mammals from other animals. But certain kinds of lizards , snakes and amphibians, both living and extinct, also reproduce without laying eggs. In fact, live birth or viviparity has evolved more than separate times in non-mammal species throughout history. It seems to have been a common reproductive strategy in particular for extinct aquatic reptiles , such as the fish-like ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. But one group of animals known as Archosauromorpha, which include crocodiles, birds and their ancestors the dinosaurs, has never been known to give birth — until now. A recently unearthed fossil, described in a new study by a team of scientists from China, the US, UK and Australia, shows that an ancient species of archosauromorph was giving birth around m years ago. The newly described specimen belongs to the species Dinocephalosaurus orientalis and was found in sediments from the early Triassic period in Yunnan Province, China.
Water warms with the incumbent wet season weather. Crocodiles are starting to mate frequently. Male crocodiles will mate with multiple females during the breeding season. Males usually play no role in parenting. Females will lay their eggs and build a nest over the eggs. The female protects her nest aggressively. They appear to go without food during most of this time, which is quite a sacrifice during the best time of year for feeding.
The Saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus is the largest of all living reptiles. Crocodiles are an ancient form of life, with fossils from million years ago. They live in habitats near the coast : rivers, swamps , billabongs , beaches and sometimes the open sea. They have a wide snout, with big scales making two rows down their neck and back. Saltwater crocodiles are now a protected species in Australia. However, if a human is at risk of being attacked, the crocodile will be moved to avoid possible harm. Many years ago, Australia used to export crocodile skin.