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Wild Egypt - The Nile Adventure - 1


Wild Egypt! An On-Line Safari for all Ages

 

 

 

THE NILE

 


The Nile River is possibly the most famous river in history. It was by its banks that one of the oldest civilizations in the world began. Not surprisingly, the Nile teems with life. Many different types of animals, birds, and fish all call the Nile River home. Hundreds of years ago, even hippos and lions could be found here in the Nile Valley.


The river in this picture looks much like it did a thousand years ago.

 

The crocodile's eyes and nostrils are on top of the head so it can see and breathe while the rest of it is underwater. As an added advantage, its ears and nostrils can close when it dives, and a nictitating membrane (a transparent eyelid) closes over the eye to keep water out.

 

Nile Crocodiles range all over Africa, eating almost anything (including each other!), but rarely moving away from their chosen body of water. Hatchlings eat small fish and insects; adults will go after turtles, baboons, and even the gigantic wildebeest. They live in large "communities" of several dozen crocodiles, but even there they tend to leave each other alone except during a "feeding frenzy" when they will all unite to take down a much larger animal.

 

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These are all pictures taken along various parts of the Nile and the Nile Valley. Some of them are of the animals, while others are of the country around them. Isn't it beautiful? The Nile Valley is home to so many creatures we wouldn't be able to see them all, but here is a good collection for you to see.

 

Are we ready to begin? Excellent!

 

The Nile Crocodile

This fearsome reptile is the Nile Crocodile. These gigantic animals have not been seen around the Nile for many years, though recently they've started making a comeback behind the Aswan Dam. The skin of the Nile Crocodile, unlike that of most reptiles, is not shed, but grows with the animal. Although crocodiles look like alligators, they can be distinguished by their longer, narrower snout, and their fourth tooth, which sticks out from the lower jaw rather than fitting neatly into the upper jaw. The adults can reach lengths of over 10 feet and can weigh up to 1500 pounds.

Closeup of the Nile Crocodile. The fourth mandibular tooth is in the red box.

 

Crocodiles swim mostly with their tails. Though their back feet are webbed, they rarely use them underwater. On land, they use their powerful legs to move around. They only look slow; Nile Crocodiles have been known to "gallop" at speeds of about 30 miles an hour.

 

The crocodile lifts up to walk on his short but powerful legs.