Two juvenile nile crocodiles facing each other


Crocodiles in this genus are believed to have changed very little in the past 20 million years. They may even have been around during the extinction of the dinosaurs. These large, aquatic reptiles tend to congregate in the slow-moving rivers and swamps of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas - the perfect places from which to ambush prey. Many populations of the 13 living species are now endangered and protected, having come under pressure from hunting and habitat loss. It is the larger species, such as the Nile and saltwater crocodiles, that pose a real threat to humans.

Scientific name: Crocodylus

Rank: Genus


Map showing the distribution of the Crocodiles taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.


The following habitats are found across the Crocodiles distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Crocodiles