Crocodiles are an ancient and imposing family of reptiles. They live in both fresh and salt water and in lakes, rivers and marshes all around the world. There are many different species of crocodiles that range in size. They eat everything from insects to antelope and zebras. Some species are plentiful, and some are very nearly extinct.
There are two varieties of crocodiles that live in Australia. The Estuarine crocodile is a salt water crocodile but it can tolerate a lot of fresh water and is often found in rivers that lead to the sea. It grows up to 7 meters long which makes it one of the largest and most dangerous of all crocodile species. Johnson's crocodile is a freshwater crocodile that can live in salt water as well. At up to 3 meters in length it does to typically attack humans but is still considered dangerous.
The freshwater Nile crocodile can be found throughout much of Africa in rivers, marshes and swamps. It is a large crocodile, reaching lengths of 10 feet for males and 6.5 feet for females. They eat primarily fish but can also hunt large game such as wildebeests, zebra and even hippos. In contrast to its brothers, the West African dwarf crocodile only grows up to approximately 6 feet in length. It is the smallest species of crocodile in the world and eats frogs, fish and crustaceans.
The American crocodile was until recently considered an endangered species. It is native to Central America and the surrounding parts of North and South America, with a small surviving population in Florida. It is very large, growing up to 6.1 meters, or 20 feet, in the wild and lives in fresh or brackish water. It eats almost anything---fish, birds, frogs, snails, insects or small mammals. Some American crocodiles have been known to live up to 70 years.
The same saltwater crocodiles that populate northern Australia also live in southeast Asia. Other Asian crocodiles are considered endangered species. The Siamese crocodile of Cambodia was declared extinct in the wild before being rediscovered in 2010. The Philippine crocodile is also considered critically endangered, with an estimated wild population of less than 200 animals. Until recently it was thought to be a subspecies of the New Guinea Crocodile, another Asian crocodile species.