All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. The Nile crocodile is not the first invasive species to enter the state’s lines. Cookie Policy 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. So the question remains, how did these crocs get to Florida? In 2009, 2011 and 2014, Nile crocodiles were captured by scientists in Florida for testing. So how the heck did these potentially human-flesh-hungry crocs get to the wilds of Florida? 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. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. The Nile crocodile may be the biggest invader to take up residence in the Sunshine State, but it has plenty of company. 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. The giant reptiles have also been reported in … They are the American Aligator’s violent cousin and are not to be taken lightly. Florida's most famous resident is the American Alligator. 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The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s deadliest predators. Nevertheless, the Nile crocodile shares a lot of similar traits with its American brethren. Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. Florida, USA is quite a distance from Africa, so it’s quite a mystery as to how the Nile crocodile arrived in Florida. However, average-sized specimens are 16 feet long and have a weight of 500 pounds. They can also grow to a length of 18 feet. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 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. 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. 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. Florida, USA is quite a distance from Africa, so it’s quite a mystery as to how the Nile crocodile arrived in Florida. The Nile crocodile may be the biggest invader to take up residence in the Sunshine State, but it has plenty of company. It certainly didn’t swim across the Atlantic, so here’s what you need to know. But the question remains: How did they get here? Yes, the Everglades are full of crocodiles, but they’re native to America. Even though this might seem considerably less, they are still rather large reptiles. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Well, maybe ten years ago. 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! Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. In 2009, 2011 and 2014, Nile crocodiles were captured by scientists in Florida for testing. Nile Crocodile Facts: Introduction. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. And while American crocs are quite gentle, the ones from the Nile are a completely different story. or Does the Nile River have 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. Terms of Use 2014: Nile Crocodile removed from Everglades National Park. “They didn’t swim from Africa. A team of scientists has identified three reptiles captured near Miami as Nile crocodiles, a species native to Africa. An April 2016 study in the journal Herpetological Conservation and Biology has confirmed the presence of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), native to Africa, in South Florida.. Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. Still, up to this point there haven’t been too many cases similar to this. Well, maybe ten years ago. By. About the Nile Crocodile Still, the state of Florida has pleaded to its population for immediate action. Scientists have confirmed that the Nile crocodile has been found in Florida’s Everglades. 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. The giant reptiles have also been reported in … Their predatory tendencies have earned them the reputation as one of the biggest threats to humans and wildlife alike. As you might expect, the Nile River is full of Nile crocodiles. 2016: Killer Nile crocodiles in Florida? Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. These Nile crocodiles come from 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. The … The Nile Crocodile Invades Florida! 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. The Nile Crocodile Invades Florida! They crawl through rivers, freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin and in Madagascar. 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. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Males can get up to 2,400 pounds but the usual weight range is more like 950 to 1,500 pounds. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists were first alerted to the presence of "unusual looking crocodilians" by private citizens. 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… Gigantic Alligator Caught on Florida Farm, Alligator Euthanized After Eating Florida Burglary Suspect. 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. 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. How Did Nile Crocodiles Reach the State of Florida? Nile crocodiles have a considerably fiercer reputation than their American cousins.​. This means that, when one or more escape under these circumstances, the incident will go unreported and lead to complications. 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. California Do Not Sell My Info (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 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 invasive croc is known to prey upon a large range of animals, including cattle and humans. 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. Why Do Cats Suddenly Attack Their Owners? 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. 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’s bite force is several times that of a lion. Read more 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… Yep! The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Regrettably, people who own dangerous pets without a license aren’t too prone to this type of responsive behavior. The Nile crocodile is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. This prompts us to wonder: how did it get there? Three crocodiles captured near Miami in 2009, 2011 and 2014 are indeed Nile crocodiles. How did these creatures get to Florida, nearly 8,000 miles from South Africa? There may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida's swamps. But "Largemouth Bass-eating crocs" doesn't sound as exciting even if that's what lingered in the the largest specimen's stomach. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch in Homestead, Florida in 2009 and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and the second largest reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. At this point, it’s more a question of civic duty than anything else. "They didn't swim from Africa," University of Florida herpetologist Kenneth Krysko said. It evolved on the African continent, where it still resides to this day. 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. The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s deadliest predators. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. It’s still unclear how the Nile crocodiles wound up in Florida, but the scientists who conducted the study have some guesses. Troy’s search for the alleged Nile crocodile takes him to the deepest and darkest parts of the Florida Everglades. Vote Now! Because Nile crocodiles are larger, they can easily compete with the much smaller Floridian reptiles, and even hunt them for sport. The Nile Crocodile Is Not Limited To The Nile River. Does the Nile River have crocodiles? All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida – one in 2009, one in 2011 and one in 2014 – the report added. Final Thoughts Illegal exotic pet ownership in Florida has created an unforeseen threat for both the residents of the area and the native crocodile population. 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. Smithsonian Institution. As of this day, researchers are not entirely sure how the Nile Crocodiles reached the state of Florida. The team didn't get genetic samples from this animal, but they do think that case means Nile crocodiles can thrive in Florida. 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. The Nile crocodile is protected by the U.S. Florida is home to a variety of both alligators and crocodiles, and in the states alligators are considered the more ferocious of the two. The Nile crocodile is protected by the U.S. book. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida – one in 2009, one in 2011 and one in 2014 – the report added. The Nile crocodile’s powerful jaws hold 64 to 68 sharp, pointed teeth, which are replaced if they get broken. By the time it was recaptured in 2000, it had grown to almost 10 feet. The Nile crocodile is not just found in the Nile … - The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Three specimens have been discovered over the past five years. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Experts say it's possible. 2020 BuzzSharer.com, This article is also published as a forum topic here ». ). Experts say it's possible. 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. So there's no need to worry about Florida's crocodiles, right? 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 (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. 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. In fact, only four have been reported so far, and all the loose crocodilians have been captured. The Nile crocs can grow up to 17 feet, some three feet longer than the Florida crocodile. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Marissa Fessenden is a freelance science writer and artist who appreciates small things and wide open spaces. After a long and strenuous chase, they finally managed to capture the reptile. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Several Nile crocodiles have been imported into Florida … Three specimens have been discovered over the past five years. “They didn’t swim from Africa. 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. Yep! The only possible solution to this situation is if their owners surrender them willingly and without any incidents. The Nile crocodile is a member of the Crocodilia order. Dumb humans, most likely. 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. On its native continent of Africa, it is known as a vicious man-eater that claims around 200 lives per year. How did these creatures get to Florida… At this point, however, no one knows whether or not there are more Nile crocs in the state of Florida. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. They crawl through rivers, freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin and in Madagascar. Upon first seeing it, expedition member Frank Mazzotti recalled thinking about how odd it looked compared to the species of the area. One was a hatchling, spotted on a porch and the other two were larger crocodiles from near Homestead. The Nile crocodile’s powerful jaws hold 64 to 68 sharp, pointed teeth, which are replaced if they get broken. How Nile Crocodiles Could Affect Florida’s Ecosystem. A deadly young Nile crocodile has been captured alive in Everglades National Park. Apparently, it is as the Nile Crocodile has now been captured twice around Miami, Florida. Scientifically known as the Crocodylus niloticus, the Nile crocodile is a carnivorous reptile that has quite the reputation. The largest of the three wasn't even three-feet long yet. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. Continue "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. This isn't the case everywhere in the world, however. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. We can only hope that the attempt will be successful. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. Florida is home to a variety of both alligators and crocodiles, and in the states alligators are considered the more ferocious of the two. But how did this species make it all the way there? The Nile crocodile’s bite force is several times that of a lion. Killer Nile crocodiles are in Florida – and no one knows how they got there. 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 … This was because it wasn’t an American alligator or an Everglades alligator, but a Nile crocodile. 2014: Nile Crocodile removed from Everglades National Park. However, the newly found Nile crocodile is a very different beast. However, a worrying population seems to be on the rise in the American state of 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. The Burmese Python, a species native to Southeast Asia, was first spotted in the Everglades National Park in the 1980’s. One was a hatchling, spotted on a porch and the other two were larger crocodiles from near Homestead, writes Sara Laskow for Atlas Obscura. Scientists analyzed genetic material from the trio and found that they were Nile crocodiles, closely related to those in South Africa. So there's no need to worry about Florida's crocodiles, right? 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. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. But the state is also home to one of the Alligator's much smaller cousins--which is not supposed to be here. Full-grown Nile crocodiles can be 16 feet long. Several Nile crocodiles have been imported into Florida … They are bigger and far more aggressive than the American crocodiles that are native to the Florida … 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. These massive, predatory beasts can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters) long and weigh more than 1,600 pounds (725 kilograms). 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. By. Let’s find out. It’s still unclear how the Nile crocodiles wound up in Florida, but the scientists who conducted the study have some guesses. Scientists have confirmed that the Nile crocodile has been found in Florida’s Everglades. Nile Crocodile Facts: Introduction. Two were related to each other. Dumb humans, most likely. 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. By their very nature, crocodiles and alligators aren’t docile creatures. 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. But the state is also home to one of the Alligator's much smaller cousins--which is not supposed to be here. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. The results concluded that these crocodiles had indeed originated from South Africa. So how the heck did these potentially human-flesh-hungry crocs get to the wilds of Florida? A team of scientists has identified three reptiles captured near Miami as Nile crocodiles, a species native to Africa. Still, the species is considered a state-wide threat due to its potentially dangerous impact. Privacy Statement Read more Give a Gift. However, the newly found Nile crocodile is a very different beast. 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). The team didn't get genetic samples from this animal, but they do think that case means Nile crocodiles can thrive in Florida. The Threat upon Florida "But we really don't know how they got into the wild." 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. 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. These beasts have a bad habit of being overly aggressive and carnivorous. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Florida's most famous resident is the American Alligator. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. Unfortunately for the residents of the American state of Florida, the nightmare of many Africans is now their own as well. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch in Homestead, Florida in 2009 and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. ). Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. 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 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? There may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida’s swamps. Killer Nile crocodiles are in Florida – and no one knows how they got there. One of the most notoriously dangerous ones certainly has to be the Nile crocodile. The third probably was as well, but problems with the quality of DNA kept the researchers from figuring this out for sure. The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and the second largest reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. This happens mostly due to how close its natural habitat is to human settlements, as well as the fact that it has an indiscriminate diet. If you did not know, Nile Crocodiles are primarily found in the Nile River in Africa. Already Florida is grappling with the ecosystem-upsetting effects of invasive feral pigs, lionfish and giant pythons. But the question remains: How did they get here? The results concluded that these crocodiles had indeed originated from South Africa. Advertising Notice 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. What is more, Florida has a reputation for illegal exotic animal holding. 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. That claims around 200 lives per year of scientists has identified three reptiles near. Crocodilians have been reported so far, and even hunt them for sport wilds of Florida for.! 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