Published October 6, 2022 | Animal Knowledge, Animals, Conservation, Endangered, Wildlife

Crocodiles (family Crocodylidae) are large semiaquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. The term crocodile is sometimes even more loosely includes all extant members of the order Crocodilia. These are including the alligators and caimans (family Alligatoridae), the gharial and false gharial (family Gavialidae).

crocodiles morphology

The 22 species of extant crocodilians are remarkably similar, here is the following crocodile morphology



The tail of a crocodile made from solid muscle and a major source of power, makes them a strong swimmer. To capture the prey, they are able to make sudden lunges out of the water. The tail will lifted as a counterbalance if the prey object is large.


Although can’t be used to propel them through the water, the webbed-feet allow them to make fast turns. Not only that, it easier for the sudden moves in the water or initiate swimming. Webbed-feet are more advantage in shallow water, where they sometimes move around by walking. On land, crocodile can run as quickly as 17 km an hour for a very short distance on its short legs.


Crocodiles have skin that is covered with keratinised scales, many of which are reinforced with bony plates, or osteoderms. While flexible skin covers the neck and flanks, the abdomen and sides of the tail are covered with flat-squarish scutes in rows. Furthermore, these scales have a sensory pore similar with the lateral line of fishes.

Jaw & Teeth

Since crocodile eat by grabbing and holding onto their prey, they have evolved sharp teeth for piercing and holding onto flesh. The powerful muscles then close the jaws and hold the prey shut. The jaws can bite down with immense force, by far the strongest bite of any animal.

The function of their teeth are not for tearing flesh off, but still it is advantageous to them. The teeth can hold onto prey with the least possibility of the prey escaping.


Crocodile have very good vision in the dark, and are mostly nocturnal hunters. Their eyes contain a horizontal streak of tightly packed receptors called fovea, which give an astoundingly extended scope of sight.


Saltwater crocodiles are known as a very intelligent and sophisticated animals. They using various forms of communication, including vocalizations as well as visual and chemical signals. They spend most of its time thermogulating to maintain its body temperature. In summer day, they tend to stay in the water with only their eyes and nostrils showing. If they feel too cold, they will sunbathe on the ground.

As ambush predators, they tend to lie in wait just below the waterline. Then, they will capture unsuspecting prey from the shore as they come to drink.

The crocodile morphology is something that we must know for its preservation. Let’s continue to support animal conservation at Bali Safari Park!