The Burmese python is well-known to be an invasive species in the Florida Everglades; however, there seems to be another major invasive reptile in the wetland: The Nile crocodile. Still, the species is considered a state-wide threat due to its potentially dangerous impact. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. Their predatory tendencies have earned them the reputation as one of the biggest threats to humans and wildlife alike. Even though this might seem considerably less, they are still rather large reptiles. One was a hatchling, spotted on a porch and the other two were larger crocodiles from near Homestead. In addition to this, there are also quite a few species of them out there, and their traits are heavily influenced by their geographical location. Not only could Nile crocodiles pose a threat to humans and native animals, but they could threaten the approximately 1,000 American crocodiles that already call the Everglades home either through competition or interbreeding. The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. But the question remains: How did they get here? There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. The Nile crocodile is protected by the U.S. Spectacled Caiman In the late 1940's and early 1950's, Florida was undergoing a tourist boom, as post-war middle-class Americans with disposable income sought vacations in the land… How did these creatures get to Florida, nearly 8,000 miles from South Africa? The diet of the Nile crocodile is mainly fish, but it will attack almost anything unfortunate enough to cross its path, including zebras, small hippos, porcupines, birds, and other crocodiles. Two years later, in 2014, a team of 10 researchers and university professors of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, scoured the Everglades to do the same. The Nile crocodile may be the biggest invader to take up residence in the Sunshine State, but it has plenty of company. And while American crocs are quite gentle, the ones from the Nile are a completely different story. The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is a large crocodilian native to freshwater habitats in Africa, where it is present in 26 countries.Due to its widespread occurrence and stable population trend, it has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 1996. 2016: Killer Nile crocodiles in Florida? Yep! The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch in Homestead, Florida in 2009 and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. How Nile Crocodiles Could Affect Florida’s Ecosystem. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. The Burmese Python, a species native to Southeast Asia, was first spotted in the Everglades National Park in the 1980’s. What is more, Florida has a reputation for illegal exotic animal holding. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. This means that, when one or more escape under these circumstances, the incident will go unreported and lead to complications. Killer Nile crocodiles are in Florida – and no one knows how they got there. 2016: Killer Nile crocodiles in Florida? The researchers note that over the last decade, large groups of Nile crocodiles have been imported from South Africa and Madagascar for display at zoos like Disney’s Animal Kingdom and to supply Florida’s flourishing pet trade, with the latter being the most likely introduction pathway, according to the study. The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. However, a worrying population seems to be on the rise in the American state of Florida. The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and the second largest reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. Scientifically known as the Crocodylus niloticus, the Nile crocodile is a carnivorous reptile that has quite the reputation. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. It certainly didn’t swim across the Atlantic, so here’s what you need to know. Yep! Read more "The odds that the few of us who study Florida reptiles have found all of the Nile crocs out there is probably unlikely,” Kenneth Krysko, a herpetologist from the University of Florida and lead author for the paper tells The Guardian. Upon first seeing it, expedition member Frank Mazzotti recalled thinking about how odd it looked compared to the species of the area. The results concluded that these crocodiles had indeed originated from South Africa. These massive, predatory beasts can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters) long and weigh more than 1,600 pounds (725 kilograms). The Nile crocodile is not just found in the Nile … (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © Scientists were first alerted to the presence of "unusual looking crocodilians" by private citizens. So how the heck did these potentially human-flesh-hungry crocs get to the wilds of Florida? The notable difference between the two species is that the former can grow considerably larger in size, as mentioned above. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. - The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Troy’s search for the alleged Nile crocodile takes him to the deepest and darkest parts of the Florida Everglades. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch in Homestead, Florida in 2009 and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. The largest of the three wasn't even three-feet long yet. The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. It’s still unclear how the Nile crocodiles wound up in Florida, but the scientists who conducted the study have some guesses. The Nile crocodile is a member of the Crocodilia order. California Do Not Sell My Info Marissa Fessenden is a freelance science writer and artist who appreciates small things and wide open spaces. The results concluded that these crocodiles had indeed originated from South Africa. Spectacled Caiman In the late 1940's and early 1950's, Florida was undergoing a tourist boom, as post-war middle-class Americans with disposable income sought vacations in the land… Plenty of the crocodiles have been imported into the U.S. not only to live at places like zoos and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but also for the exotic pet trade (because a person-eating, 20-foot croc sounds like a great pet! Give a Gift. But how did this species make it all the way there? How Did Nile Crocodiles Reach the State of Florida? The Nile crocodile’s bite force is several times that of a lion. It evolved on the African continent, where it still resides to this day. By. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Privacy Statement At about 16 feet long and 500 pounds, the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is Africa’s largest crocodile, and just a few years ago four of these crocs were found in southern Florida.Recently, researchers documented that introduction and published their … By the time it was recaptured in 2000, it had grown to almost 10 feet. Experts say it's possible. The Nile Crocodile Invades Florida! Let’s find out. Scientists have confirmed that the Nile crocodile has been found in Florida’s Everglades. This huge reptile, which can grow to lengths of over 6 meters, is capable of taking down pretty much any animal that ventures too close to its watery domain. These Nile crocodiles come from Africa. ). There may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida’s swamps. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. They are the American Aligator’s violent cousin and are not to be taken lightly. So there's no need to worry about Florida's crocodiles, right? There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. The Nile crocodile’s presence isn’t prevalent quite yet, but it could very well be soon enough if this toxic trade doesn’t come to an end. This huge reptile, which can grow to lengths of over 6 meters, is capable of taking down pretty much any animal that ventures too close to its watery domain. The Nile crocodile is not the first invasive species to enter the state’s lines. The Nile crocs can grow up to 17 feet, some three feet longer than the Florida crocodile. The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and the second largest reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. Nevertheless, the Nile crocodile shares a lot of similar traits with its American brethren. "But we really don't know how they got into the wild." Their presence in the state of Florida isn’t a threat only to the human population of the area, but also for its native crocs. The DNA analysis shows that they didn't match animals kept at Florida attractions such as Disney's Animal Kingdom, so they must have been brought to the state illegally, reports Terry Spencer for the Associated Press (via the Orlando Sentinel). Gigantic Alligator Caught on Florida Farm, Alligator Euthanized After Eating Florida Burglary Suspect. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Final Thoughts At this point, it’s more a question of civic duty than anything else. The Nile crocodile’s bite force is several times that of a lion. Nile crocodiles are safely bred in a facility in the state, but there certainly are a lot of irresponsible individuals out there who enjoy owning Nile crocodiles without a proper permit. A native of Central and South America, the species first made it to Florida in the 1930s in an effort to control sugar cane pests. Two years later, in 2014, a team of 10 researchers and university professors of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, scoured the Everglades to do the same. On its native continent of Africa, it is known as a vicious man-eater that claims around 200 lives per year. The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s deadliest predators. Cookie Policy According to National Geographic, it is the largest crocodilian on the continent, as it can grow up to 20 feet and weigh as much as 1,650 pounds. Dumb humans, most likely. Contrary to some headlines, these little crocs are not "man-eating." This was because it wasn’t an American alligator or an Everglades alligator, but a Nile crocodile. One of the most notoriously dangerous ones certainly has to be the Nile crocodile. We can only hope that the attempt will be successful. 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Smithsonian Institution. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Nile crocodiles have a considerably fiercer reputation than their American cousins.​. The Nile crocodile’s powerful jaws hold 64 to 68 sharp, pointed teeth, which are replaced if they get broken. Florida's most famous resident is the American Alligator. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. The Nile crocodile is protected by the U.S. A team of scientists has identified three reptiles captured near Miami as Nile crocodiles, a species native to Africa. But the question remains: How did they get here? Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. The team didn't get genetic samples from this animal, but they do think that case means Nile crocodiles can thrive in Florida. The … They crawl through rivers, freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin and in Madagascar. ). Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. The aggressive Nile crocodile can grow up to six metres (20ft) long, and around 200 people a year fall victim to the giant reptile in its native Africa. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. They can also grow to a length of 18 feet. The Nile Crocodile Is Not Limited To The Nile River. The third probably was as well, but problems with the quality of DNA kept the researchers from figuring this out for sure. This isn't the case everywhere in the world, however. The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s deadliest predators. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. The Nile crocodile is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. Three crocodiles captured near Miami in 2009, 2011 and 2014 are indeed Nile crocodiles. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida – one in 2009, one in 2011 and one in 2014 – the report added. Does the Nile River have crocodiles? All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Florida's most famous resident is the American Alligator. The DNA analysis shows that they didn't match animals kept at Florida attractions such as Disney's Animal Kingdom, so they must have been brought to the state illegally, reports Terry Spencer for the, Already Florida is grappling with the ecosystem-upsetting effects of invasive. Advertising Notice 2020 BuzzSharer.com, This article is also published as a forum topic here ». One was a hatchling, spotted on a porch and the other two were larger crocodiles from near Homestead, writes Sara Laskow for Atlas Obscura. book. While it sounds like the discovery of only three individuals isn't much cause for alarm, the researchers suspect there might be more out there. The Nile crocodile’s powerful jaws hold 64 to 68 sharp, pointed teeth, which are replaced if they get broken. 10 Unreal Shiba Mixes You Have to See to Believe, 7 Family-Friendly Pet Breeds for Homes With Young Children, How To Help Anxious Cats To Live Their Best Life, The 100 Most Popular Boy and Girl Dog Names of 2020. The group also reported on a fourth individual had escaped from its enclosure at Billie Swamp Safari in 1996 or 1997, and was probably 4 to 5 feet long at the time. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Two years later, in 2014, a team of 10 researchers and university professors of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, scoured the Everglades to do the same. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida – one in 2009, one in 2011 and one in 2014 – the report added. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. 2014: Nile Crocodile removed from Everglades National Park. However, average-sized specimens are 16 feet long and have a weight of 500 pounds. Yes, the Everglades are full of crocodiles, but they’re native to America. At about 16 feet long and 500 pounds, the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is Africa’s largest crocodile, and just a few years ago four of these crocs were found in southern Florida.Recently, researchers documented that introduction and published their … There may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida's swamps. But the state is also home to one of the Alligator's much smaller cousins--which is not supposed to be here. Experts say it's possible. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Upon hearing these statistics, the Nile crocodile is certainly one of the last predators on Earth you’d want to have in your vicinity. The giant reptiles have also been reported in … These beasts have a bad habit of being overly aggressive and carnivorous. The giant reptiles have also been reported in … "The odds that the few of us who study Florida reptiles have found all of the Nile crocs out there is probably unlikely,” Kenneth Krysko, a herpetologist from the University of Florida and lead author for the paper tells, How did these creatures get to Florida, nearly 8,000 miles from South Africa? This prompts us to wonder: how did it get there? Three specimens have been discovered over the past five years. The Threat upon Florida Regrettably, people who own dangerous pets without a license aren’t too prone to this type of responsive behavior. In 2009, 2011 and 2014, Nile crocodiles were captured by scientists in Florida for testing. In 2009, 2011 and 2014, Nile crocodiles were captured by scientists in Florida for testing. It’s still unclear how the Nile crocodiles wound up in Florida, but the scientists who conducted the study have some guesses. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. However, the newly found Nile crocodile is a very different beast. Full-grown Nile crocodiles can be 16 feet long. Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. Scientists analyzed genetic material from the trio and found that they were Nile crocodiles, closely related to those in South Africa. “They didn’t swim from Africa. book. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. While it sounds like the discovery of only three individuals isn't much cause for alarm, the researchers suspect there might be more out there. The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. or As of this day, researchers are not entirely sure how the Nile Crocodiles reached the state of Florida. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. "They didn't swim from Africa," University of Florida herpetologist Kenneth Krysko said. Does the Nile River have crocodiles? Terms of Use The Nile crocodile may be the biggest invader to take up residence in the Sunshine State, but it has plenty of company. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. They are bigger and far more aggressive than the American crocodiles that are native to the Florida … Still, the state of Florida has pleaded to its population for immediate action. Scientists puzzled as to how the African reptiles made their way to the Florida Everglades Continue Florida can now add the notorious Nile crocodile to the list of exotic and dangerous non-native species that have been found in the sunshine state. Read more The invasive croc is known to prey upon a large range of animals, including cattle and humans. Three specimens have been discovered over the past five years. Well, maybe ten years ago. Nile Crocodile Facts: Introduction. The aggressive Nile crocodile can grow up to six metres (20ft) long, and around 200 people a year fall victim to the giant reptile in its native Africa. Scientists were first alerted to the presence of "unusual looking crocodilians" by private citizens, the team reports in a paper for Herpetological Conservation and Biology. Recent DNA analysis has confirmed that three crocodilians captured in southern Florida between 2009 and 2014 were actually Nile crocodiles, reports Oliver Milman for The Guardian. Florida, USA is quite a distance from Africa, so it’s quite a mystery as to how the Nile crocodile arrived in Florida. Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. Well, maybe ten years ago. The only possible solution to this situation is if their owners surrender them willingly and without any incidents. The team didn't get genetic samples from this animal, but they do think that case means Nile crocodiles can thrive in Florida. If you did not know, Nile Crocodiles are primarily found in the Nile River in Africa. 2014: Nile Crocodile removed from Everglades National Park. This isn't the case everywhere in the world, however. Killer Nile crocodiles are in Florida – and no one knows how they got there. So how the heck did these potentially human-flesh-hungry crocs get to the wilds of Florida? Nile Crocodile Facts: Introduction. The Nile crocodile, which lives mostly in the eastern half of Africa and reaches lengths of up to 20 feet, is a much larger and more aggressive creature than Florida's native species, the American crocodile. By their very nature, crocodiles and alligators aren’t docile creatures. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. As you might expect, the Nile River is full of Nile crocodiles. Males can get up to 2,400 pounds but the usual weight range is more like 950 to 1,500 pounds. Apparently, it is as the Nile Crocodile has now been captured twice around Miami, Florida. At this point, however, no one knows whether or not there are more Nile crocs in the state of Florida. Why Do Cats Suddenly Attack Their Owners? All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. The Nile crocodile is a member of the Crocodilia order. After a long and strenuous chase, they finally managed to capture the reptile. In fact, only four have been reported so far, and all the loose crocodilians have been captured. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. How the Nile crocodiles arrived in Florida is not clear, but DNA evidence published in a new study suggests they were likely brought from Africa as part of the exotic pet trade. add this to the already impending doom of human blood sport, and we’ve got a soon to be endangered species. One popular theory that was circulating on the Internet once the story broke out in the media was that they swam across the Atlantic Ocean. But the state is also home to one of the Alligator's much smaller cousins--which is not supposed to be here. Florida is home to a variety of both alligators and crocodiles, and in the states alligators are considered the more ferocious of the two. Already Florida is grappling with the ecosystem-upsetting effects of invasive feral pigs, lionfish and giant pythons. They crawl through rivers, freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin and in Madagascar. The Nile crocodile’s bite force has been recorded to be an incredible 22,000 newtons, making the Lion’s bone-crushing 4,450 newton bite seem more like a nibble. Unfortunately for the residents of the American state of Florida, the nightmare of many Africans is now their own as well. A reputation for illegal exotic animal holding be taken lightly wetlands as well as coastal of! Swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the newly found Nile crocodile ( Crocodylus )! 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