Crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials (or gavials) are reptiles that belong to the group known as crocodilians. Crocodilians are large animals with long, lizard-shaped bodies, and two pairs of short legs. They have long snouts, tough scaled hides, and sharp teeth.

Crocodilians are water-dwelling animals that prefer to live in large bodies of shallow water, sluggish rivers and open swamps. Their feet are webbed so they can walk easily on the soft, wet ground. They have long, strong tails which enable them to swim and move about in the water.

For food, crocodilians eat many small animals such as fish, birds and rodents which they swallow whole. Occasionally, large crocodiles may attack large animals and people. The Saltwater and Nile Crocodile of Africa are the largest, as well as the most vicious of the crocodilians. They are vicious killers which sometimes leaves the water to attack humans.


Never stop growing: It is said that crocodiles keep on growing until they die, albeit more slowly. That’s why they grow so big, and make for dangerous pets. Learning and spiritual growth are also a lifelong process, we should constantly strive to improve ourselves.

While it is wonderful to be satisfied with our physical possessions like toys and candy, we should never be content with our character and spiritual self. Instead we should endeavor to continually improve ourselves and keep on growing. This way we can become outstanding people, and truly reach the potential given to us by the Creator.



Listen to the growl of this crocodile

Watch a video of Crocodiles


Like other reptiles, all crocodilians lay eggs in nests built on the land. The female of some types guards the nest until the young are hatched. When the eggs are ready to be hatched, the baby crocodiles emit high pitched cries. When the mother hears the signal, she digs them out.

A crocodile's bite strength per inch is 30 times more powerful than a large dog's.

A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue; it is attached to the top of its mouth.

Sometimes an alligator will swallow things of no food value, like pieces of pine wood. Crushed cans, shotgun shell casings and a variety of other articles have been found in the stomachs of alligators. Such odd objects are not proof of the foolish feeding by the alligator. They are taken in as “gizzard stones,” to help grind the coarse food the alligator eats.

Parent's Tip: When it is time for a baby crocodile to hatch, it grows an “egg tooth,” a point on the end of its nose that it uses to break out of its shell. After it hatches, the “egg tooth” slowly disappears. Talk about how people have baby teeth, and when it is time for the person to grow more, the baby teeth fall out and adult teeth grow in.


The crocodile was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians, and Pharaoh himself was worshipped by the Egyptians as the “Great crocodile” (Ezekiel 29:3). The Nile Crocodile reigns supreme in his river and Pharaoh reigned supreme in his vast empire, becoming quite arrogant and vicious, and refusing to acknowledge a Higher Authority, until he experienced the ten plagues.

The second plague which battered the Egyptians was the proliferation of the tzefardea throughout the land. While the word tzefardea is popularly understood to mean “frog,” the great medieval scholar Rabbeinu Chananel alleges that the proper translation of the word is crocodile. Ouch!

Alligators dig nests, or “gator holes,” in the swamps or river banks where they live. Gator holes range from the size of bathtubs to the size of a swimming pool. During dry seasons when the swamps dry out, the “gator hole” can be the only source of water. Many fish, amphibians, turtles and other swamp creatures survive the dry season by flocking to the water-filled gator holes until the water returns.

Here the alligator serves as a Noah in reverse. For, while Noah built an ark to save the land creatures from the Flood, the alligator provides a water-filled den to save water creatures from the drought!

Lately, scientists in the United States have isolated a powerful agent in crocodile blood which could help conquer human infections that are immune to standard antibiotics. The discovery was made thanks to the curiosity of a BBC science producer filming a documentary on salt-water crocodiles in Australia.