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Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus
Credit & Copyright: Dr. Bruce G.
Explanation: In parts of Zambia they are called "flat dogs" for their resemblance to unfortunate dogs caught sleeping in the road. But pet them not. At extremes, Nile crocodiles can reach nearly 6 m (20 feet) and 1000 kg (2200 lbs).
One of only 23
species of order Crocodylia, Nile crocs are vestiges of the
archosaurs that once
dominated for over 150 million years. They continue to dominate local
rivers and pools when not persecuted by humans. They are an integral part
of the ecosystem, forming and maintaining waterholes that attract many aquatic
and riparian plants, birds, mammals, and many other forms of life. In
crocodile pools are sacred sites as well as tourist
Nile croc hiding among Ipomoea, an aquatic Morning
Glory, in a pond kept filled by the croc's digging. The
croc also plays a role in dispersing the plant among pools.
Next week's picture: Plateau Lizard on the Rocks
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