The dreaded crocodile is the national animal of East Timor. Crocodiles are large reptiles that live in water. They are well-armored with a tough, scaly skin. East Timor’s national animal has massive jaws each with 24 teeth meant to grasp and crush. The funny thing about the national animal of East Timor is it doesn’t chew its food, it instead just crushes and swallows. They swallow stones which help to grind the food.
Crocodiles can be found in Africa, Asia, America and Australia. Due to poaching, crocodiles have been listed as endangered animals by the IUCN. There are an estimated 300000 crocodiles in East Timor (Crocodiles of the world). When agitated, crocodiles are deadly. They are very dangerous while angry as there are many reported cases of crocodiles attacking human beings. This aggressiveness and their powerful body makes it qualify as the national animal symbol of East Timor.
Facts about the National Animal of East Timor (Crocodile)
- Common name: crocodile
- Scientific name: Crocodylinae
- Average weight: 140-450lbs.
- Average length: 7-15ft.
- Average lifespan: 60-70years
- Incubation period: 3-5 months
- Clutch size: 35-50 eggs
- Habitat: coastal mangrove forests, ponds, rivers and lakes
- Diet: fish, hippos, zebras and many others
Crocodiles are carnivores, eating only meat. Some are olive-green while others are grey-green in color. In its mouth, the fourth tooth is always protruding making it visible. They are very shy, and spend time hiding from human beings. They are usually hunted for their skins. Perhaps it is due to the importances of their skin that are referred to as the national animal symbol of East Timor. During mating, which is around January and February, the female crocodile builds a nest of mud where it will lay its eggs. She then buries the eggs and fiercely guards them.
The ability of the crocodile to protect its eggs until they hatch, protect and provide for the young crocodiles makes it to be considered the national symbol of East Timor.
- “Basic facts about crocodiles”-Defenders of wildlife
- “Crocodile facts”-Softschools.com
- “Crocodiles: Facts & pictures”-Livescience