Skip to main content

Sacred Crocodile

Crocodylus suchus mummy
The Sacred Crocodile is an amazingly fascinating animal, because until very recently modern science was unaware that it was a unique species at all. Though there were some theories (based on skull shape) that date back to the early 19th century, the general thought was that all large Crocodiles in the Nile region belonged to the same species.

Well, as of 2011, we now know that there are actually two different creatures. Also surprising? They aren't closely related at all! In fact, the man who originally DNA sequenced a skin sample from a Sacred Crocodile kept running the test over and over because he thought something was wrong!

Nile Crocodiles and Sacred Crocodiles look very alike, but have different genetics, slightly different scute patterns, and very different behaviors. In fact, Ancient Egyptians knew all about the different temperaments of the Crocodiles that they lived among, and recognized that there were two different species thousands of years ago. The Sacred Crocodiles were more docile and tame, and were kept close to temples where they were considered, you guessed it, sacred. Additional evidence has even shown that Sacred Crocodiles were the ones mummified, not Nile Crocodiles at all!

The modern "discovery" of this second species could mean problematic things for the Nile Crocodiles. Their range may actually be smaller than estimated, and the Crocodiles skin trade will need to be carefully monitored and reevaluated. The exact population count of the Sacred Crocodile is unknown, but it is believed to be rather rare.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Africa
Size : Length up to 16ft (5m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Crocodylia
Family : Crocodylidae -- Genus : Crocodylus -- Species : C. suchus
Image : van Oudheden


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe