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CROCODILES Small Picture Atlas

Miroslav Prochazka, Ralf Sommerlad

Small Picture Crocodile Atlas Ing. Miroslav Prochazka

Published by: Tomistoma Foundation Namesti 261, 398 11 Protivin in publishing of STUDIO GABRETA spol. s r.o., Rudolfovska 34, 370 01 ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic Text: Ralf Sommerlad (page 2–3) Ing. Miroslav Prochazka (page 4–44) Photo: Ing. Miroslav Prochazka (Cover page 1, 2, 3, pages 3–24, 26–33) Luis Sigler (page 25) Robert Nespesny (page 2)

Book design, setting: STUDIO GABRETA spol. s r.o. Printed by: Tiskarny Havlickuv Brod, a.s.

First Issue Ceske Budejovice 2010

© Text: Ing. Miroslav Prochazka, 2009 © Photos: Ing. Miroslav Prochazka, Luis Sigler, Robert Nespesny, 2009

ISBN 978-80-86610-52-8


This small Crocodile Atlas is designed to make the general public familiar with basic information regarding various individual crocodile species, in an effort to contribute to increased interest in these animals and to promote their protection. Unfortunately, certain protective measures adopted

Contents 3. Crocodiles 4. Crocodile Bodily Structure and Senses 10. Biological Classification of Present Crocodiles Crocodile species: 14. American Alligator 15. Chinese Alligator 16. Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman 17. Schneider’s Smooth-Fronted Caiman 18. Spectacled Caiman 19. Broad-Snouted Caiman 20. Yacare Caiman 21. Black Caiman 22. American Crocodile 23. Cuban Crocodile 24. Morelet’s Crocodile 25. Orinoco Crocodile 26. Nile Crocodile 27. Slender-Snouted Crocodile 28. Dwarf Crocodile 29. Estuarine Crocodile 30. Siamese Crocodile 31. Marsh Crocodile 32. Philippine Crocodile 33. New Guinea Crocodile 34. Freshwater Crocodile 35. False Gharial 36. Indian Gharial 37. Crocodile Reproduction 44. Photographic Locations for this Atlas; Sources

at the start of the 21st century proved unsuccessful, and several crocodile species (e.g. the Cuban Crocodile, Philippine Crocodile, and Indian Gharial) are on the brink of extinction again in the present enlightened period.


of Foreign Terms alveolus - tooth socket bipedal - two-footed brackish water - mixed fresh water and seawater in the mouths of rivers Diapsid cranium - cranium with two temporal windows embryonic mortality - death rate of foetuses endemic - occurring in a specific small territory epithelium - cellular tissue covering external body surfaces, or a lining exploitation - economic utilization phylogenesis - development of species hybridization - crossbreeding of various species carcass - dead body lateral - side, on the side morphology - science dealing with body structure and form musculature - position and structure of the muscles neocortex - grey cerebral cortex osteoderm - bony deposit forming scales in the dermal layers of the skin reintroduction - renaturalisation rostrum - muzzle, beak subspecies - natural subdivision of the species sympatric - occupying the same territory thecodont teeth - teeth set in jaw sockets


Lake Mesangat Project Lake Mesangat has been formed over many millennia by a combination of the gradual erosion of the landscape (of up to 6 km in depth; Hall and Nichols, 2002) into a basin, most of which lies less than 10m above sea level. The Muara Ancalong region (the wetland triangle formed by the Kedang Kepala and Kelinjau Rivers, tributaries of the Telen) was a focus for logging in the 1990s, and some forests in the vicinity of the lake were severely burnt during several ENSO events from 1982 to 1998. The area has been traditionally occupied by two ethnic groups, the Kenyah, hunters and subsistence farmers who occupied much of the forested interior of East Kalimantan up until the mid-20 th century, and the Kutai, who still primarily live along larger rivers and mostly make their living from fishing for aquatic species, such as fish, snakes and turtles. Since the 1960´s, however, a great number of different ethnic groups (including Javanese, Balines, Timorese, Bugis and others) were brought to the area near Muara Ancalong and especially near Long Mesangat during an official Transmigration Program promoted and implemented by the Central Government of Indonesia. Both the local farmers/fishermen and the more recently arrived transmigrants have continued to burn the wetland areas during the dry season, a common method of removing unwanted vegetation that has persisted in the southeast Asian tropics for many generations. The result is a landscape of patchy shrubs and grasses, frequently interspersed with a mosaic OF clumps or lines of trees, indicative of areas which remained wet during long droughts, and therefore were not consumed or killed during the fires.

Despite this “rough use” over many decades, recent visits by members of the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group and LIPI have confirmed the continued presence of T. schlegelii and C. siamensis. In addition, Endangered or threatened Primates include the orangutan and the proboscis monkey.


1.Unsustainable harvest Some timber is still removed from the Mesangat wetlands, although little, perhaps 10% or less, remains most of the area’s original forest. Numerous aquatic species are harvested on a regular basis from the lake area, including fish, snakes (3 species), turtles (2 species) and crocodiles (eggs). It is not known how these activities have affected the crocodiles, and no study of this use has ever been done, apart from several general studies of the Mahakam wetlands. 2.Exotic species

As a result of the widespread disturbance of the area, several notable exotic species have been either intentionally or inadvertently introduced. Some are relatively benign, such as the tilapia (Haplochromis mossabica, H. nilotica ). Of more concern are possibly more destructive species, such as the Apple snail (Pomacea sp.), and the “Toman” fish or Asian Snakehead (Channa micropeltes). Both are harvested by local fishermen and consumed as food, but the impacts on native species by the exotics themselves is not known. 3.Agricultural development

In 2008, a local oil palm plantation company acquired the rights to plant in the Danau Mesangat area.


However, overtures by the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group and cautions by the Indonesia Government brought planting to a halt after the establishment of only a few hundred hectares. The company ceased planting and pulled out of the area, but the land around Danau mesangat is still identified as “suitable” for agriculture. 4.Fires during droughts Several ENSO events causing severe droughts have occurred over the past 30 years (the worst in 198283 and 1997-98), the damage of which has been exacerbated bv non-selective timber extraction, unsustainable farming practices of transmigrants to the area, and the desire by local fishermen to improve their access to flooded areas by burning off

vegetation during periods of low water. The result has been the transformation of a swamp forest into vast areas dominated by reeds, sedges and exotics such as water hyacinth and water cabbage. Supported by the oil palm plantation company REA Kaltim Plantations a foundation has been established to conserve the extremely valuable habitat and its endangered wildlife! Led by the biologist Dr. Robert B. Stuebing, the small international team of Yayasan Ulin (Ironwood Foundation) is working hard on this issue. In the meantime, a scientific project to improve our knowledge on the critically endangered Siamese Crocodile at Lake Mesangat has been branded by the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA),Project number 10008. Some European Zoos, like Dortmund Zoo and Cologne Zoo as well as Zoopark Erfurt (all in Germany) are supporting Mesangat conservation and in the Czech Republic, Protivin Crocodile Zoo became one important partner . Director Miroslav Prochazka surveyed the Mesangat and promised his support in establishing a sustainable eco-tourism project and crocodilian conservation in the area. The IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) and its Tomistoma Task Force are also involved. Yayasan Ulin does also have support by Indonesian governmental institutions and the government of East Kalimantan province. With the sale of this Crocodile Atlas, Protivin Crocodile Zoo and its visitors are helping to save Indonesias only known Siamese Crocodile population, the important population of the endangered Tomistoma and Mesangats other endangered and critically endangered wildlife species. PLEASE VISIT THE “YAYASAN ULIN“ FACEBOOK SITE ONLINE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LAKE MESANGAT.



Crocodile Bodily Structure and Senses Crocodiles are perfectly adapted to fulfil the role of top predators in a food chain where water meets dry land both in tropical and subtropical areas. The foundation of their sturdy bodily structure is a massive skeleton - a robust, diapsid cranium with a perfectly formed upper palate that, in combination with a gastro-oesophageal closure linked to the tongue, which is tied to the lower jaw, enables the crocodile to hunt and swallow its prey even underwater without drowning. On the massive jaws with alveoli for thecodont teeth, which are replaced throughout the crocodile’s life, we can see tentacles for extremely strong muscles. Their strength generates a gripping pressure of up to 1100 kg per cm2. The eye sockets, braincase, and rostrum with the nostril aperture all protrude above the level of the elongated upper jaw, which is all we can observe from the crocodile’s huge body when the it floats on the water. Crocodile cranium - Apparent in the open mouth, a perfect upper palate and attachment for the massive muscles at the lower jaw

Crocodile skeleton with visibly large vertebral thorns

Detail of breast ribs, abdominal ribs and pelvis. Lateral rib osteophytes are apparent as well


The missing osteoderms make skin on the abdominal side smooth and supple

Crocodile’s mouth - The tongue is tied to the lower jaw, with gastro-oesophageal closure

Penis of male crocodile


The huge thorn-like structures that protrude from the dorsal as well as caudal vertebrae anchor short and powerful muscles which, together with the musculature fixed both to the angular ribs of the thorax and partially to the cartilaginous abdominal ribs that connect the breast bone and pelvis, form a perfect protective muscular corset. This corset is further supported by backward pointed osteophytes of certain breast ribs (processus uncinati). The muscles fixed to the caudal vertebrae thorns make the animal’s tail an efficient weapon and a source of fast and energetic movement. The entire protective structure is further improved by strong and flexible skin, which is braced laterally and on the top side of the body with bone plates (osteoderms) that, in addition to serving a protective function, fulfil the role of heat accumulator. This is the result of being heavily perfused with blood from the inner side.

Osteoderms, bone plates from the crocodile’s spinal side

Concerning the crocodile’s senses, it is hearing, sight and smell that are evolved to perfection. Aural apertures as well as the nostrils are equipped with moving, cutaneous edges that protect them when the animal plunges under the water. The eyes have triple eyelids - the top eyelid, which is keratinized and nearly immovable, the bottom coriaceous eyelid, which protects the crocodile’s eyes during sleep and which is closed when attacking prey. The eyes are protected by a transparent, winking membrane underwater. The specific sensory organs are the dermal sensory receptors, which are called the Integumentary Sense Organs (ISO). They have the appearance of minute pores on the skin of the upper and lower jaws (they can also be found on the inner side of the upper jaw as well) and near the eyes. In the true crocodiles (Crocodylinae) and gharials (Tomistominae and Gavialinae), ISOs are distributed on the abdominal shield, on the base of the tail or in the vicinity of

Osteoderms on the spine and sides with strong skin form a dermal skeleton


the cloaca. Their function is still not fully understood but it is assumed that, in addition to smell and touch, these receptors sense water vibrations as well so that crocodiles are also capable of hunting in turbid, opaque water. All crocodile species have lingual salt glands. It is assumed that, in terms of phylogenetics, they originate primarily from sea animals. These glands exist in pairs and are located at the base of tongue. Other crocodile glands include twin scent glands on the lower jaw and in the cloaca, and the modified spinal oil gland. Crocodiles are very intelligent animals. They have the largest and most perfect brain among reptiles, and its structure is similar to that of the bird. Some scientists compare crocodile intelligence to sewerrat intelligence. Their social manifestations are often accompanied by producing genuine voices that can be vocalized by the ligaments and tendons in

ISO receptors on the upper jaw’s interior in the False Gharial

Minute black pores on the lower jaw, upper jaw and near the eyes - ISO sensory receptors


Eye of the crocodile - the top keratinized eyelid is apparent

Animal protects its eyes with the bottom coriaceous eyelid during attack or sleep

their larynx. They vocalize a series of sounds including croaking, barking and roaring. Crocodile males have an evolved penis. Crocodiles, well-known as ambush hunters, are capable of lurking immovably underwater for long periods of time to pounce upon prey that is careless enough to approach them underwater or on land at a water source when coming for a drink. Their ability to stay underwater for long periods of time is facilitated by their breathing system and blood circulation, which are adapted to this purpose. Their lungs are large, and they have a perfectly developed breathable epithelium. The crocodile’s heart is divided into a right chamber, left chamber, and antechamber; however both chambers are interconnected with an aperture called the Foramen Panizzae. This aperture enables the preferential supply of oxygenated blood into parts of the body that need it. If a crocodile submerges underwater to wait for prey without moving, it exploits the oxygen supply

Underwater, the eyes are covered with a transparent winking membrane


The only parts visible of a crocodile floating on the surface of the water are imperceptible islands - nostrils, eyes, and ears

from the richly evolved lung-breathing epithelium, which is interwoven with blood capillary vessels, while reducing the heart rate from the normal rate of 25 beats per minute to one beat per minute, and its heart supplies the oxygenated blood preferentially into the brain. This mechanism allows the adult crocodile to stay underwater watchfully for up to six hours; however, the animal usually keeps the intervals between 15 and 45 minutes. Then the crocodile comes slowly to the surface, emerging only its nostrils to take a breath. When hunting, the crocodile always follows the principle of submerginge backwards, a behaviour facilitated by the movement of rib muscles and diaphragm that change the body’s centre of gravity by shifting the lungs, stomach and liver backward and forward so that no circles are formed on the water surface that would draw attention to the presence of the crocodile.

Heart and lungs of the alligator



Biological Classification of Present Crocodiles

Alligator genus

paleosuchus genus

caiman genus Melanosuchus genus


Only a single family of the Crocodylia order - the Crocodylidae family - has survived to the present day. All of the presently living 23 crocodile species are divided into four subfamilies. Though molecular analysis has an ever-increasing role in current times, we will use the crocodile crania in this Atlas to recall the main morphological characteristics of individual subfamilies, simultaneously demonstrating individual genera.

Genus: Melanosuchus - Black Caiman. As opposed to other caimans it has markedly larger oval eye sockets. Clearly marked fasciae are composed of a goggle-like fascia before the eyes from which one pair then extends to the muzzle. These fasciae branch out towards the lateral side of the upper jaw at a minimum of two points. The lower jaw dentary fuse (os dentale - symphysis menti), extends to the level of the 4th–7th tooth row in the lower jaw. One species.

Subfamily: Alligatorinae Includes alligators and caimans. The main distinguishable characteristic at first sight is the fact that the lower jaw teeth fit into the upper jaw sockets so that only the upper jaw teeth are visible when the alligator’s mouth is closed. The fourth tooth in the lower jaw can grow through the aperture in the upper jaw in fully developed adult individuals. There are 68–80 teeth. The lower jaw dentary fuse (os dentale - symphysis menti), extends to the level of the 4th–6th tooth row in the lower jaw. Alligators Alligators have an osseous nasal septum, and, in comparison with other crocodiles, a markedly wide and relatively short cranium. Genus: Alligator - Two species, one in the southeastern part of North America, the other in the Jang-c Tiang River basin in China, both living in the northernmost regions of all the crocodile species. Caimans Caimans do not have an osseous nasal septum, and all of them live on the American continent. Genus: Paleosuchus - Musky caimans. Their cranium lacks the fascia before the eyes on the upper jaw, and the forehead is markedly high. Two species. Genus: Caiman - Spectacled Caimans. Their cranium has fasciae before eyes that resembles goggles, and one pair of fasciae may alternatively extend to the muzzle with indistinct lateral branching. Three species.

Subfamily: True Crocodiles (Crocodylinae) This subfamily covers so-called true crocodiles. Their main characteristic is the fact that the lower jaw teeth fit in between the upper-jaw teeth so that the teeth of both jaws are visible with a closed mouth while the fourth tooth of the lower jaw fits into the indentation in the upper jaw. There are 60–72 teeth, and they have 14–16 teeth on one side of the lower jaw and a maximum of 19 teeth in the upper jaw. The lower jaw dentary fuse reaches to the level of the 4th–7th tooth row in the lower jaw. They live in tropical to subtropical belts of America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Crocodylus genus


Genus: Crocodylus - The head has a relatively long mouth. The symphysis menti extends as far as the 4th–7th pair of the lower jaw teeth, where one row contains a maximum of 15 teeth. They lack an osseous nasal septum. Thirteen species. Genus: Mecistops - The head is distinctively elongated with long, narrow jaws resembling those of the Gharial. It has no osseous nasal septum, and the symphysis menti extends to the 7th pair of the lower jaw teeth, which contains a maximum of 16 teeth in a row. One species. Genus: Osteolaemus - The head is markedly short with a high forehead, resembling a caiman cranium. It has an osseous nasal septum, and the symphysis menti extends as far as between the 4th–6th pair of the lower jaw teeth, where one row contains 14–15 teeth. One species.

Osteolaemus genus

Subfamily: False Gharials (Tomistominae) The main characteristic is its low, elongated jaws with 76–84 teeth, where one row of the lower jaw has 19–20 teeth, and in the upper jaw 19–22 teeth. The lower jaw teeth fit between the upper jaw teeth, the structure of the ellipse-shaped eye sockets and the braincase is similar to Crocodylus genus, and the lower jaw dentary fuse - the symphysis menti extends as far as to the 14th pair of the lower jaw teeth. Genus: Tomistoma - False Gharial, one species, only in Asia. Subfamily: Gharials (Gavialinae) The main characteristic is its low, elongated jaws with 106–110 teeth. The lower jaw teeth fit between the upper jaw teeth, the circular eye sockets are pointed upwards, there is a short braincase, and the lower jaw dentary fuse - the symphysis menti - extends as far as to the 24th row of lower jaw teeth. Genus: Gavialis - Gharial, one species, only in Asia.

Mecistops genus


The lower jaw of the Tomstominae subfamily

Gavialis genus

Tomstoma genus

The lower jaw of the Gavialinae subfamily


American Alligator /Alligator mississipiensis, Daudin,1802/

Habitat: Southeastern United States Size: Large species; females up to 3 m, males up to 4.8 m; 6.5 m (unattested data)

Food: Adolescents - insects and crustaceans, Adults - fish, water birds, turtles, mammals Biology: Lives in freshwater streams and lakes and also enters the circumlittoral brackish lagoons.

Given its habitat is in the northernmost regions, it survives the winter months with no food. The reproduction period then starts in spring, and females lay 20–60 eggs into pile-shaped ap ile le-sh -s ape ed nest n in n Ju JJune. n ne. Incubation Incu Inc ubatio tion n la llasts as s ffor asts or 60–70 60–70 60– young are days, day s and th s, the e yo y oung a re

Pierrelatte Farm

Protivin Zoo

born yellow-black and become darker as they get older.

Degree of endangerment: Low risk of endangering; more than one million individuals in n nature


Chinese Alligator /Alligator sinensis, Faurel, 1879/

Habitat: A part of the lower reach of the Jang-c ĹĽiang River in eastern China Size: Small species that grows to a length of 2 m Food: mostly molluscs and crustaceans, amphibians, fish; large specimens also

eat smaller birds and small mammals Biology: Freshwater species. Given its northernmost habitat, it winters in deep dens for up to six months since temperatures drop below the freezing point. Active in temperatures as

low as 16 °C, it mates in April and May. Females lay 10–40 eggs from July to August, and young are born in 70 days Degree of endangerment: Critically endangered. Less than 200 individuals in nature, their habitat area

is still decreasing due to the exploitation of the original ecosystem by man and as a result of a polluted environment. Breeding supervised by man necessary to keep the species alive

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Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman /Paleosuchus palpebrosus, Cuvier, 1807/

Habitat: Eastern Columbia and Venezuela, Guiana, Suriname, French Guiana, eastern Peru and Ecuador, central Brazil–Amazon region, eastern Bolivia and northeast Paraguay Size: The smallest crocodile species, normally 100–130 cm, maximum 172 cm Food: Adolescents eat insects and invertebrates,

namely crustaceans and molluscs. Both of these are eaten in adulthood as well, occasionally including smaller fish, amphibians and reptiles, and less commonly birds and mammals Biology: It prefers the lower reaches of rivers and lakes, and is also found in small pools. sma all swamps and p o As opposed to other r sspecies pec cies es

of caimans and crocodiles it is relatively slow and hesitant in hunting, which results in its orientation towards invertebrates. It has high night activity. When the species leaves water to hunt invertebrates in the rain-forest stands, it hides in the stands or in the cavities on shores in the dry season. Its reproductive cycle is usually longer than one year. Males roar t h

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aloud before mating, and females lay 8–25 eggs into nests made of plant debris and mud and are fierce protectors of their nests despite their small size. Newborn youth are 18–22 cm long Degree of endangerment: Low risk, more than 1 million individuals in nature


Schneider’s Smooth-Fronted Caiman /Paleosuchus trigonatus, Schneider, 1801/

Habitat: Eastern Columbia, Guiana, Suriname, French Guiana, eastern Ecuador and Peru, central Brazil azil and eastern Bolivia Size: Small crocodile le species, commonly growing wing to a length of 110–160 60 cm, c some populations m may ay be as long as 180 cm, attested m at m, ttes t ted maximum um llength ength eng ho off 230 cm

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Food: Food corresponds to their size; the young eat insects and invertebrates, which continues into adulAdults eat thood as well. Adu fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and birds Biology: Even if the species lives in a sympatric manner with the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman (P (P. palpebrosus), palpebrosus) it frequently reaches the up-

per reaches of rivers, where it lives in fast flowing and relatively cold waters. It has a more active and shy disposition than the active in Dwarf Caiman, a temperatures as low as a at t 6° C, displaying high night t activity, when it goes hunting far from the shore after dark. Some sources also claim its ability to climb stout tree trunks,

after which it returns to the water before dawn. Females lay 15–25 eggs into nests created from plant debris during the reproduction period, and the young are born 20–25 cm long endangerment: Degree ee of en endan danger ge milliLow risk, risk more more tha than 1 mi milli l population nature on popula ulatio tion n in in natu n ure


Spectacled Caiman /Caiman crocodilus, Linnaeus,1758/

Habitat: From southern Mexico to all of Central America, Columbia, Venezuela, Guiana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru, Ecuador, the entire Amazon region, and Trinidad and other islands near the northern coast of South America Size: Commonly 2 m, maximum 2.7 m Food: The young eat invertebrates while adults prefer

fish and occasionally small mammals and water birds Biology: Highly adaptable species that prefers slowly flowing and heated streams, swamps, rainforest morasses and lakes as well as the tidal territories of savannahs. Certain populations pass through summer in lethargy. They lie in mud on the stream bed in the dry season when temperatures are high. Depending

on local conditions, the species mates at the end of the dry season. Females lay 10–40 eggs into nests made of plant debris, which the female guards, similar to the other crocodile species Degree of endangerment: A critically endangered species is the Columbian subspecies Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis. The other crosubspecies, Caiman c. cro codilus, Caiman c. fuscus cus and Caiman c. Chiapasius asi asius sius,

are beyond endangerment– there are more than one million individuals, the most common crocodiles in the regions they occupy (some sources identify subspecies chiapasius to be the same as subspecies fuscus–the Central American and northern forms). The Spectacled Caiman was naturalised in the Antilla Islands and Florida, where it has as become eco com co o e a commo co common ommo m mm n species spe ecie c s

Mádras Crocodile Bank Trust

Protivin Zoo


Broad-Snouted Caiman /Caiman latirostris, Daudin,1802/

Habitat: Eastern and northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil Size: Commonly 1.8–2.3 m; males may grow to a length of 3 m Food: A high ratio of invertebrates, namely crustaceans, are eaten by adults as well as young. The young

prefer insects followed by crustaceans and molluscs. In adulthood they also eat small mammals, birds, and fish Biology: As opposed to the Spectacled Caiman, this species is found more frequently in savannahs. It does not avoid brackish water; on the other

hand, it occupies streams in higher altitudes (up to 600 m above sea level). This species lives in certain areas in a sympatric manner with the Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare), mating at the end of the dry season depending on the area. The female lays 18–50 eggs after a gestation period of about eight weeks. The nest

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is a relatively large size–up to 1.5 m high, guarded by the female. The young are born 22–24 cm long Degree of endangerment: Low risk. Populations in nature are estimated to be 250 thousand to 0.5 million individuals. The species is protected and bred on farms and ranches


Yacare Caiman /Caiman yacare, Daudin,1802/

Habitat: The Pantanal region, southern Brazil, northern Uruguay and Argentina Size: Commonly 2 m, males up to 3 m Food: Primarily fish; the young eat invertebrates,

and, to a smaller extent, birds and mammals Biology: The dry and rainy seasons alternate in the Pantanal region, to which this caiman has adapted its biorhythm. It falls into lethargy in the dry season to increase its activity

during rainy periods. The species lives in large groups. It was formerly classified into the complex group of Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus), but differing markedly from this species in size–this caiman is larger in terms of number of teeth, and the colouring is

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MĂĄdras Crocodile Bank Trust

Albino - Samutprakan Farm

more variegated. The stains on its lower jaw remain for its entire life Degree of endangerment: Low risk; more than 300 thousand individuals


Black Caiman /Melanosuchus niger, Spix, 1825/

Habitat: Wider region of Amazonia Size: Large species. Females usually up to 3 m, males 4.8 m, maximum length up to 6.5 m (attested) Food: Proportionally to

the size of invertebrates, fish, and turtles up to water birds and mammals Biology: Fresh water species living in streams and lakes in the Amazon rainforests. The reproduction period varies

according to the region of occurrence; females lay 30–60 eggs, which have the shortest incubation time of all crocodiles - 35–45 days. The species has very slightly formed osteoderms; its skin is thus of high quality, and it has the largest eyes of

all crocodiles, being able to see even the sections on the back of its own head Degree of endangerment: Endangered. Population in Ecuador and Brazil at a low risk

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American Crocodile /Crocodylus acutus, Cuvier, 1807/

Habitat: Southern Florida, Caribbean Islands, Central America, the northern part of South America. It lives similarly to the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), in the coastal belt as well as in the sea water, typically in mangrove stands. The species goes

upstream in rivers (in Cuba), where the population is higher Size: Large species. Females usually up to 3 m, males to 5.5 m, unattested data - 7.2 m Food: Depending on the size - insects, arthropods,

fish, birds, mammals of adequate size Biology: Attains maturity at a size of 2.2–2.6 m. Females lay 20–90 eggs into self-built nests. Incubation of 80–95 days. The species digs dens in the dry season to wait out the extreme

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conditions inside. It is well adapted to life in the sea water (such as in the Enriquillo Lake in Haiti) Degree of endangerment: Endangered species except for the population in Cuba


Cuban Crocodile /Crocodylus rhombifer, Cuvier, 1807/

Habitat: As endemic species in Cuba, in the swamps of the Zapata Peninsula and the Isla de la Juventud (the smallest original distribution area of all the crocodiles (about 650 km2)

Food: As opposed to the rest of the crocodiles, it is well adapted to hunting ashore. The typical food is hutia (a rodent resembling the nutria) and turtles, as well as the fish and other animals

Size: Medium-sized species; females 2–2.5 m, males 2.5–3.5 m, unattested data - 5.4 m

Biology: Freshwater species, the most aggressive of all crocodiles. The females attain maturity at a size of 1.8 m, males at 2 m. They

mate in the December–February period, females lay eggs in April and May, usually 10–40 pieces, and incubation lasts for 80–100 days. The young are born orange with black spots and yellow eyes, and the orange colour gets whiter and the eyes get dark with age. The sexually mature individuals are black and white with dark eyes

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Degree of endangerment: Critically endangered. There are 3–6 thousand living individuals. They are endangered but are in a small habitat locality and survive by hybridization, living in a sympatric manner with the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)


Morelet’s Crocodile /Crocodylus moreletii, Duméril et. Duméril, 1851/

Habitat: Eastern coast of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala

but the crocodile attacks birds and mammals as well

Size: Small crocodile species. Common length is 2–2.5 m, max. 3 m, 4–5 m data, but unattested

Biology: Freshwater species living in rivers and lakes and in savannahs and rainforests of Central America. It is very aggressive, attacking domestic animals near human dwellings. The

Food: The young eat crustaceans, molluscs, and fish,

species mates at the start of December, the eggs are laid from April to June, females lay 20–40 eggs, and the young are born 16–17 cm long in September

10–20 thousand individuals, frequently bred on farms in Mexico

Degree of endangerment: Low risk. Population in nature amounts to

Mádras Crocodile Bank Trust

Mádras Crocodile Bank Trust

Protivin Zoo


Orinoco Crocodile /Crocodylus intermedius, Graves, 1819/

Habitat: Endemic in the Orinoco basin, that is, in eastern Columbia and Venezuela. Some animals may pass from the Orinoco delta all the way to the island of Trinidad is isl Siz Size: ze: Large species. Males are ar re eu usually more than 4 m, maximum ma ax xim i 7.2 m Food: Foo Fo od d The young prefer insects ins in n ec and crustaceans,

Dallas World Aquarium

the adults eat fish and other vertebrae such as big freshwater turtles and, due to their huge size, also large mammals (e.g. tapirs) Biology: This species prefers streams in evergreen tropical rainforests and savannahs in the region of Llanos. It migrates in rainy seasons in flooded rivers, hiding on the shaggy river banks in the dry season.

It is sexually mature between 10–12 years of age, mating takes place from September to November, and females lay eggs from January to February, digging the nests on river banks at a distance of 20– 50 cm from the water to lay 40–70 eggs. The young are born right before the rainy season in March and April so that the eggs are not flooded

Degree of endangerment: Critically endangered due to barred access to certain localities. About 250 to 1500 specimens are estimated to live in nature. The species is bred on several farms in order to be naturalised again


Nile Crocodile

/Crocodylus niloticus, Laurenti, 1768/ Habitat: It occupies all of Africa except for the Sahara and includes eight subspecies, further occurring in Madagascar, but have been exterminated on the Seychelles Islands and Mauritius Size: Large species and long–3.5 to 8 m depending on subspecies. The largest subspecies on Madagascar is comparable in size to the Estuarine Crocodile

Food: The young eat insects and other invertebrates, then fish, birds and mammals. The mature individuals are renowned for hunting large African ungulates Biology: Very adaptable, large crocodile species living in the region spreading from the tropical rainforests in western Africa to the rivers and lakes of central and southern Africa, as well as coastal areas and desert peripheries in the north (e.g. Mauretania),

where it forms so-called desert populations that were named a separate species – Crocodylus suchus–in 2004. Males display territorial behaviour in the reproduction period, females lay 10–90 eggs into dug nests, and incubation lasts for about 90 days. Females guard the nest and assist the young with leaving the nest, carrying them in their mouth into the water and protecting the locality into which the young have been released for several more days against invaders

Degree of endangerment: The species is not imminently endangered. Individual populations have different levels of protection according to the numbers of crocodiles, and it is general-ly true that the rainforest and desert populations have ve a stricter protection level. The species is alternatively bred amply on farms and on ranches and is an economically significant speciess významný druh

farm Mauritius

Pierrelatte Farm


Slender-Snouted Crocodile /Mecistops cataphractus, Cuvier, 1824/

Habitat: Western equatorial Africa - Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Chad, Gabon, and Tanzania

Food: Long jaws adapted for hunting fish, as in Gharials and Tomistomas. Fish prevail in the food, but they occasionally eat other vertebrae, namely water turtles and water birds

Size: Large crocodile species, growing commonly to a length of about 3 m, males up to 4 m

Biology: Freshwater species preferring rainforest streams and lakes, it does not avoid brackish waters in Cameroon and Guinea,

and it gets as far as into the savannahs in Tanzania, hiding in the stands of water plants to ambush fish. Mating takes place depending on the locality from February to May, females lay 9–23 eggs from the end of April to August, and the young are born at a temperature of 26–34°C after 90–100 days, being 30–35 cm in size

Degree of endangerment: Accurate data are missing. The species is presumed to be endangered to vulnerable, and it is imperative to say that habitats are deteriorated extensively in western equatorial Africa as in other tropical regions

Mádras Crocodile Bank Trust Pierrelatte Farm


Dwarf Crocodile /Osteolaemus tetraspis, Cope, 1860/

Habitat: Western equatorial Africa

frogs, and small mammals

Size: Max. 2.3 m, females grow most frequently up to 1.5 m and males to 1.8–2 m, the smallest species from the subfamily of true crocodiles

Biology: Small freshwater species living in rain forests. Females lay 11–17 eggs into nests made of plants during the reproduction period, and incubation lasts for 95–105 days

Food: Young eat e insects, ea crustaceans, crusta ta acea ceans, ns mo molluscs, fish,

De Degree of endangerment: consideThe e species is not t co conside de-

red directly endangered, and populations in the open air are difficult to be numbered. However, it is hunted systematically by the natives to be sold in municipal market squares in order to make a living. The original localities are further destroyed by felling of the rainforests and for r tropical tr tro opical ca woods w

Protivin Zoo

Zoo Jihlava

by clearing the forests to acquire agricultural land. Certain estimations foresee the species to be extinct in nature within ten years with the present elimination rate of rainforests. It does reproduce well when monitored by man


Estuarine Crocodile /Crocodylus porosus, Schneider, 1801/

Habitat: Southeast Asia from Sri Lanka to the Indian Peninsula, Indo-China, Indonesia, northern Australia, the Pacific Islands up to Fiji. On the seaside and in river deltas Size: Large species. Females usually grow up to 3 m, males to 6 m, with unattested data of a maximum length of 8.51 m. Weight is up to 1500 kg, with

unattested data on a maximum size of 10 m Food: According to species size - insects, other arthropods, crustaceans, molluscs, fish, turtles, water birds, and mammals Biology: They reach maturity at a size of 2.2 m - females, and 2.7 m males, which corresponds to the age of 10–16 years.

Females lay up to 90 eggs with an incubation of 80–90 days. The young live in freshwater and travel to coastal areas with age. The socially weaker individuals migrate by sea to new localities to establish new territories that they return to even after the transit (e.g. after the dangerous specimens have been transferred outside of the habitat)

Degree of endangerment: Critically endangered in Sri Lanka, Indian Peninsula and Philippines, eventually expected to become extinct, but there is low risk for the Indonesian and Australian populations. Populations amount to 300 thousand individuals

Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, JAW III., the largest crocodile in India - 5.3 m

farm Utairatch

farm Palawan


Siamese Crocodile /Crocodylus siamensis, Schneider , 1801/

Habitat: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, western Malaysia, Borneo, and Java

usually up to 3 m, with a maximum size of 3.8 m

Size: Medium-sized species. Females up to 2.5 m, males

Biology: Freshwater species living in rainforest streams

Food: Predominantly fish

and lakes, it attains maturity at a size of 1.8–2 m. Females lay 20–48 eggs, incubation lasts for 60–80 days, and females takes care of their young even if bred by man

Protivin Zoo

farm Utairatch

Degree of endangerment: Critically endangered, with less than 5 thousand individuals in nature. Successful re-introduction in Thailand and Vietnam


Marsh Crocodile /Crocodylus palustris, Lessson, 1831/

Habitat: Indian subcontinent. The species reaches the southeast part of Iran in the west and the Myanmar border in the east, as well as southern Nepal and the north of Sri Lanka Size: Large species. Common size in adult males is 3–3.5 m, max. 5.5 m, with unattested data of a maximum of 8 m

Food: The young eat invertebrates and fish, the mature individuals may eat large mammals as well - samburs, antelopes, pigs, etc. It can also attack man Biology: This species prefers fresh air swamps, but it reaches the upper reaches of rivers in mountain areas. It sometimes encounters the Indian Gharial (Gavi-

alis gangeticus), playing a role of carcass eliminator in Indian rivers, maturing sexually at the age of 6–7 years, the female size being 1.8–2 m and male size 2.2 m. The reproduction cycle takes place from November to June in its southern habitat, and from December to July in its northern habitat. Females lay 25–30 eggs

Degree of endangerment: It is considered vulnerable. Populations in nature range from 5 to 10 thousand individuals

Mádras Crocodile Bank Trust


Philippine Crocodile /Crocodylus mindorensis, Schmidt, 1935/

Habitat: Endemic in the Philippines; a freshwater species Size: Usually to 2 m. Males may grow to a length of up to 2.5–3 m Food: Predominantly invertebrates and fish

Biology: Freshwater species that also resides in small rivulets occupied predominantly by females that are smaller, maturing at the size of approximately 1–1.5 m, at the age of 8–11 years. The animals mate starting from December. From March to April right before the rainy season

the females lay eggs into nests near seasonal water reservoirs. Nests are sometimes as large as a few square metres in size, the average number of eggs being 20, sized 7×4 cm when the nest is 1.5 m in diameter. This crocodile’s biology is a topic of intensive research today

Protivin Zoo

farm Palawan

Degree of endangerment: Critically endangered, less than 500 animals of all age categories survive in nature, and breeding under the supervision of man is very difficult for reasons of extreme intraspecific aggression. This crocodile is presently the most endangered species next to the Indian Gharial


New Guinea Crocodile /Crocodylus novaeguineae, Schmidt, 1928/

Habitat: Endemic species of New Guinea

fish and occasionally other vertebrae

Size: Medium-sized species, growing to a length of 3 m, and large males up to 3.5 m

Biology: Freshwater species living in rivers and lakes up to river deltas and coastal swamps where it encounters the much larger Estuarine Crocodile. Females attain maturity at

Food: The young prefer invertebrates; adults prefer

Utairatch Farm

the size of 1.8–2 m, males at 2.3–2.5 m. Females lay 24–45 eggs into pile-shaped nests. The young occupy, often collectively, the upper reaches of rivers Degree of endangerment: Low risk of endangerment. Bred in its homeland on

farms for the production of skin and meat. similar to the Siamese Crocodile and Philippine Crocodile, and it is often bred with the Estuarine Crocodile


Freshwater Crocodile /Crocodylus johnsoni, Krefft, 1873/

Habitat: northern Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland Size: Smaller crocodile species, max. 3 m. Females grow usually up to 1.8–2 m, males to 2.5 m. Certain socalled mountain populations, which are the subject of current genetic research, reach 110–130 cm in adulthood. In case the

animals are acknowledged as a species, they aspire to be the smallest crocodile species Food: The young eat invertebrates; the adults prefer fish and occasionally other vertebrae Biology: Freshwater species. It moves very skilfully on water as well as on dry

land, preferring freshwater rivers and lagoons. However, it goes down into brackish waters as well, where it encounters the Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). The species attains sexual maturity from 11–17 years of age (males later). In the reproduction period they migrate upstream to spring waters. Females lay 12–24 eggs,

Frankfurt Zoo / Mohan

often collectively into one nest, the young are born at a temperature of 29–34 °C after 65–95 days, and the hatched youngsters are 25 cm long on average Degree of endangerment: Low risk, population in nature ranges from 50–100 thousand individuals


False Gharial

/Tomistoma schlegelii, Müller, 1838/ Habitat: Southern part of Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo Size: Large species. Females up to 3.5 m, males up to 5.6 m, possibly more - insufficiently studied species Food: Predominantly fish. Large individuals even eat

mammals and water birds Biology: Freshwater species live in lakes and quiet streams in peat forests. Females attain maturity at the size of 2.8–3 m, males more than 3.5 m. At the age of 16–20 years, females lay 20–60 eggs of a size of up to 12 cm near the roots of big

trees, and they pile leaves over them. Females guard the nest. There is a high embryonal mortality rate

2.5 thousand individuals. It is endangered from fishing and destruction of rainforests

Degree of endangerment: Endangered species are proposed to be transferred into the areas of the critically endangered ones. Estimated populations are

Protivin Zoo

Samutprakan Farm


Indian Gharial /Gavialis gangeticus, Gmelin, 1789/

Habitat: Western Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma Size: Large species. Adults grow commonly to a length of 3–4 m, males 5.5–7 m Food: Predominantly fish Biology: Freshwater species best adapted to live in water suitable for all crocodiles. It moves ploddingly on the firm ground by dragging its body with its weak limbs over the

land. The species also occurs in high altitudes and is capable of enduring temperatures around 16°C for long periods of time. The animal attains sexual maturity at the age of 13 years (females) and 16 years (males). Typically, a bulbous structure called the ghara starts to form on the tip of the male’s snout after the 11th year of age (the animal is named the “gharial” after it). The species starts to mate from December to January, and males engage in

Prague Zoo

Mádras Crocodile Bank Trust

combat with each other. Females lay eggs in March into nests dug in sand to a considerable depth, and the number of eggs is usually 30–50, max. 95. The young are born after 72–90 days at a temperature of 32–34 °C, and they are 32–37 cm long Degree of endangerment: Critically endangered. After the relatively successful environmental actions at the end of the 20th century, when the gharial’s population

increased to up to a few thousand individuals, the species started to die out in the 21st century. This was considered a crisis after 2006. Mass deaths have been recorded in natural localities since 2007. The present population is estimated to amount to only a few dozen individuals. A rescue breeding supervised by man is vital (such as the successful breeding, for example, by the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust)


Crocodile Reproduction Crocodiles live long lives. The oldest known animals bred under the supervision of man have already exceeded the age of 75 years, which corresponds to the life span of man. This fact has an influence on the crocodile’s time of sexual maturity; most of the medium and large crocodile species attain maturity at the age of 12–16 years. The species to attain maturity the youngest are caimans of the Caiman genus–there is a known case of a male being fertile at the age of four years. On the contrary, the latest are the males of False Gahrials (Tomistoma schlegelii) that, according to the latest knowledge, attain maturity only after twenty years of age. The actual mating is usually preceded by male combat (for example, Indian Gharials) or courtship plays that are typical for alligators–bellowing and resonant roaring that sprays the water around the animal. The actual mating then takes place most frequently aground in the water when the male leans against the female to grip the female’s chest with its front legs, pushing its tail under the female’s cloaca to unite with the female with its penis. This act may last from several minutes to several hours, and the male tries unceasingly to repeat this act during the mating season. Females lay limy eggs two to three months after mating. They usually make a nest pit in which to lay the eggs in three to four layers. The number of eggs usually depends on the species and size of the female–it ranges from 10–90 UNITS. After having laid the eggs the female pushes soil and vegetative material over the eggs to form a pile-shaped nest. This activity may last up to several days. The nest is guarded by the female for the entire incubation period, which usually lasts 70–90 days (the shortest period rests with Black Caiman - 45 days; on the contrary, it may exceed 100 days in certain

species). The young of many species make sounds before hatching, and then the female paws the nest around and carries the freshly hatched young ones in its mouth into the water. The place where the female releases the young is guarded by her for several days. The young are self-sufficient immediately after hatching, and they promptly hunt for their food. It is usually insects, soon to be followed by small fish. Crocodiles have undeveloped sexual chromosomes. The sex of the young is determined by the temperature during the incubation period. More females are usually born at lower temperatures (29–30.5°C). More males are born at higher temperatures (32–34 °C) (Note - the given temperatures may vary slightly according to specific crocodile species). In natural conditions, the temperature differences are assured by the layering of eggs into the nest pit where a slightly different temperature is present in each layer, and, if bred in farms and zoos, the sex is determined by temperature adjustment in an incubator.


Reproduction of crocodiles in zoos and on farms Protivin Zoo



Protivin Zoo

Foreplay of the Chinese Alligator - roaring and water churning

Protivin Zoo

Marsh Crocodiles Mating



Mating - Cuban Crocodiles

Mating - Nile Crocodile, Mauritius


Protivin Zoo


Protivin Zoo


Philippine Crocodiles Mating

Protivin Zoo


Siamese Crocodile female making the nest pit

Siamese Crocodile laying eggs

Protivin Zoo


Cuban Crocodile laying eggs


Protivin Zoo


Laid eggs of a Cuban Crocodile immediately after laying, before their covering


Laid eggs of a False Gharial with piled layer of plant residues, Utairatch

Protivin Zoo


Cuban Crocodile female guards the laid eggs


Laid eggs of a Siamese Crocodile before extraction of eggs from the hatchery, Utairatch


Protivin Zoo


Eggs deposited into a hatchery on the farm, Samutprakan

15 Protivin Zoo


Eggs deposited into the incubator at the zoo

Egg development - several hours after laying, a white strip appears and continues to get wider

Protivin Zoo


In fertilized eggs it is actually an adherence of the inner ...


Protivin Zoo

Protivin Zoo


... egg membrane to the shell until the egg is completely white


Protivin Zoo


Hatching of young

Protivin Zoo

Hatching of young


Siamese Crocodile Hatching


Protivin Zoo


Protivin Zoo

Siamese Crocodile Hatching


... and, a short time later, fish

Protivin Zoo


The first food - insects ...


Breeding of Philippine Crocodiles on a Palawan farm is hope for the future of this species


Photographic Locations Small Picture Crocodile for this Atlas Atlas Ing. Miroslav Prochazka in the 1970s by famous herpetologist, Mr. Romulus Whitaker. All of the photographs in this Atlas were taken during Presently it is crucial to rescue the Indian Gharial. The Trust 2005–2009 amongst the author’s private crocodile breeding, not only reproduces this critically endangered species, but it which became the Crocodile Zoo Protivin in 2008, and then takes an active part in its protection in natural localities, during the author’s visits to breeding facilities in varinamely in the Chambal River, breeding Marsh Crocodiles as ous parts of the world. Because the farms and zoological well and Estuarine Crocodiles from the Indian population, gardens in which the photographs were taken are by: bothTomistoma the Published Foundation and breeding a wide range of other crocodile species and breeding and environmentalist establishments as noted, each 11 Protivin tortoises, e.g. the Kachuga kachuga. of them deserves at least a brief description: Namesti 261, 398rare It is a world-renowned environmentalist and study centre in publishing of STUDIO GABRETA spol. s r.o., Rudolfovska 34, 370 01 ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic Czech Republic Thailand Prague Zoo - Institution that underwent a very open-minded Text:Samutprakan and Utairatch Crocodile Farm and Zoo and development process after 2002. Renowned for rescuing the PrPattaya Adventure - The farms of founder Mr. zewalsky horse, and since 2008 took part in theRalf protection and Sommerlad (page Crocodile 2–3) Utaia Youngprapakorn are managed today by his son Uthen. breeding of the Indian Gharial, currently breeding one of the Miroslav (pagein4–44) It is crucial the rescue of the False Gharial and Siamese most prospective groups of this critically Ing. endangered species.Prochazka In Crocodile. They operate extensive market breeding of the hyb2008, Prague Zoo was rated as the 7th best zoo in the world rids of the Estuarine Crocodile and Siamese Crocodile for the Jihlava Zoo - Not such a large zoo. In close vicinity to production of skin and meat. In addition, they manage the the centre of Jihlava, well-known for keeping of clawed Photo: pure-blooded breeding of the26–33) Siamese Crocodile and maintain monkeys, endangered species of felines, lemurs, and rare repIng. Miroslav Prochazka (Cover page 1, 2, 3, pages 3–24, the crucial breeding of the False Gahrial tiles, being the first in the czech republic to successfully breed Luis Sigler (page 25) Dwarf Crocodiles Robert (page 2) Philippines Crocodile Protivin Zoo - Known for its regular breeds Nespesny Palawan Crocodile Farm Institute - One of the last refuges of Cuban Crocodiles, a large group of False Gharials and of the Philippine Crocodile. Estuarine Crocodiles from the Philippine Crocodiles, and keeping a rich variety of crocodiles original Philippine population that reach gigantic sizes are in Central Europe, the Zoo supports a series of worldwide bred here, as well as the smaller endemic species, such as the crocodile protection projects abovementioned Philippine Crocodile. This farm also includes Book design, setting: STUDIO GABRETA spol. s r.o. a rescue centre with endemic species of birds and mammals France Printed by: of Tiskarny Havlickuv Brod, a.s. Crocodile farm in Pierrelatte - European “Mecca” crocoU.S.A. dile lovers. In addition to the largest group of Nile CrocodiDallas World Aquarium - The first to breed the critically les in Europe, it keeps other species as well - Indian and False endangered Orinoco Crocodile, photographs of which were Gharials, both Alligator species and others. It is unique in furnished for this Atlas by Mr. Luis Sigler, whom the author utilizing waste heat from the nearby nuclear power plant to of this Atlas would again like to thank very much. Aside from breed the crocodiles and by doing so is an example of how to the breeding of the critically endangered Orinoco Crocodile, use modern technologies for the protection of animal species the Dallas World Aquarium takes an active part in the protection of this species in the country of its origin, Venezuela Germany First Issue Frankfurt/Mohan Zoo - Periodically breeds freshwater Ceskenamely Budejovice 2010 Crocodiles, the world-famous Zoo owes its reputation to the operation of Dr. Grzimek, a great promoter of environmental preservation in the second half of the previous century who held the position of director of this zoo for many years

Source Materials:

© Text: Ing. Miroslav Prochazka, 2009 Trutnau, L., Sommerlad, R.: © Photos: Ing. Miroslav Prochazka, Luis Sigler, Robert Nespesny, 2009

Mauritius La Vanilla crocodile farm - Renowned for the breed of Madagascan Nile Crocodiles, Radiated Tortoises, and Giant Tortoises, it is a favourite stopping place of tourists who visit Mauritius. The Farm also keeps other types of Madagascan fauna

Crocodilians - Their Natural History and Captive Husbandry, Chimaira Frankfurt n.M. 2006 Zelinka J., Voženílek P.: Krokodylove - prezivajici soucasnici dinosauru, Ratio 2000

India ISBN 978-80-86610-52-8 Mádras Crocodile Bank Trust - One of the most significant worldwide institutions for crocodile protection, established

The gigantic, almost seven metre-long hybrid Crocodylus porosus x siamensis on the Samutprakan Farm is the largest crocodile kept under the supervision of man in the world

The crocodiles of the Protivin Zoo are unique, primarily due to the following two reasons: The first reason is that the Zoo is focused on specialized breeding of crocodiles with the aim to exhibit all their species and the simultaneous reproduction of critically endangered crocodiles. A total of twenty-one crocodile species have been bred at the time of this bulletin‘s publication, and there is regular rearing of the critically endangered Cuban Crocodile, which are signs that this aim is being fulfilled with success. The second reason is the entire Zoo’s engineering solution. It is placed in a historical building from the end of the 18th century. In its time, the building served several purposes, for example, as a stable for horses and an area for coaches and coachmen when in possession of the Schwarzenberg family. Today this building embraces a built-in concrete structure, the walls of which are thermally insulated, with extra wall appended. The Zoo wall is up to 170 cm thick in places, and it has excellent thermal insulation and heat storage properties. The high-performance system of ground-air type heat pumps - based on the eight 120 metre-deep wells - and the solar-energy power station located on the roof’s eastern side improves the entire unique system both technically and economically. The economical operation allows the Zoo to support even the environmentalist activities in the countries of origin of the bred crocodiles, for instance, in India and in the Philippines. Krokodyli ZOO, Namesti 261, 398 11 Protivin

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