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Nile crocodiles have deadliest jaws in the savannah

WITH a body weighing up to 950km, Nile crocodiles are among large animals residing in the savannah of Africa, morphologically these huge reptiles were created as ambush predators because both their eyes and ears are located on the upper side of the head.

This is a very important biological characteristic which enable the reptile to hide under the water while swimming slowly to a strategic position to unleash a rapid ambush. This military like tactic is possible because of their grayish colour which camouflage with water and allow the predator to get closer with its prey without their knowledge.

Sometime these kind of attacking technique don’t work the way they are supposed to do. In this situation the crocodile will go under the river bird where its capable of hiding while holding its breath for more than half an hour.

Most of the time this is a fruitful tactic because the lungs and brains of these reptiles are capable of sustaining in area with low oxygen for more than 120 minutes. As a result, this technique allows the reptile to get closer to its prey and select the prime target for a swift ambush.

It’s estimated that at one time the jaws of a healthier crocodiles are armed with 64 to 68 teeth which are roughly arranged on both side of a V shaped mouth. Morphologically the mouth of a Nile crocodile is created almost like beak of duck but surprisingly the reptile is also equipped with sharp teeth like those found in the mouth of a shark in the sea.

The jaws of the Nile crocodile are always dangerous because of its ability to remove worn out teeth and grow new and sharp ones more than 50 times in a life time. Scientists say on each side of the mouth, there are five teeth in the front of the upper jaw and 13 or 14 in the rest part of the upper jaw.

The lower jaws are armed with 14 or 15 teeth on either side, all these grow from a strong dental bone which also support and control its daily function. Moreover, this is a unique characteristic among reptiles and other predators because allow the upper jaws to shut quickly, closer and significantly according to preference of the owner.

From their part scientists say, it’s very easier to stop the crocodiles from opening their mouths and from the inside it’s almost impossible to block the deadly closure from the powerful jaws of the reptile. If you happen to visit national parks such as Katavi, Ruaha, Saadani, Rubondo, Saanane and Serengeti you will be able to see these reptiles in their natural environment.

It will be good if your courage and desire enables you to get closer to the side of a pool where one or more crocodiles are basking on the ground for morning sunshine. From this position you will be able to see the flexibility of the largest lizard of the African savannah.

You will be able to see weakness of muscles which open the mouth and feel the strength of those which strongly shut the mouth of Nile crocodile. To unleash the deadliest mouth bite among animals, the reptile deposits enough energy into strong muscles around the mandible.

From our neighborhoods, the history of boxing will never forget what happened in June 28, 1997 on the fight which was named “The Sound and the Fury”. It was a fight which was contested by Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, but the bout was called off after Tyson bite off a piece of his rival’s ear.

Officials of the match were forced to disqualify Tyson from continuing with the World heavyweight championship fight. For their part doctors said during the biting action Tyson used a lot of energy which released a pressure weighing more than 69km.

Scientists say the pressure which is released on the bang as Nile crocodile bites is equal to 2,268km which is capable to crash a shell of a full grown tortoise. This is a very dangerous bite which is enhanced by three centimeter long canines capable of putting full grip on a shocked and struggling wildebeest bull.

These spectacular ambushes of Nile crocodile most of the time takes place on the side of a river where they chase and catch their prey. In the savanna the African leopard is equipped with second powerful jaws capable of unleashing a bite with a pressure weighing 907km.

With this force the African leopard is capable to carry bodies of most of their victim to a safer position on a tree. The leopard is followed by a hippopotamus with biting force weighing 825.9km, spotted hyena with biting force weighing 498.9km. Lions the king of jungle and most feared animal of the savannah have a biting force weighing 272km, which rank them on fifth position.

rstanslaus@yahoo.com Mobile: 0754362330

Author: Reginald Stanislaus Matillya

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