Crocodile Farm


Crocodiles are archosaurs, a name which tells you they are related to dinosaurs. They share genes with alligators and caimans but belong to a different family; all appeared on earth about 80 million years ago and, somewhat surprisingly, they are close relatives of birds. Individuals of the larger species can live up to 70 years.

Crocodiles live throughout the tropics – in America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Most inhabit freshwater rivers and lakes, but they can live in seawater, and the saltwater crocodile of Asia and Australia is one of the more dangerous of the species, being the largest reptile alive. Crocodiles eat fish, birds and mammals, which they catch using an ambush technique. Like snakes, they have a slow metabolism and can go a long time without food. The saltwater crocodile and the Nile crocodile between them kill hundreds of humans a year. Some deliberately swallow stones to help in grinding up their food and perhaps to act as ballast. Don’t be deceived by their enormous weight and size though: they can swim, manoeuvre and strike very fast. On land they have been known to reach 17 km an hour.
Crocodiles are protected in many countries, but they are also farmed for their skin to make wallets, briefcases and belts. In Australia, South Africa and specifically Thailand their meat is also served in restaurants.

The island of Koh Samui, situated in clear waters some 400 km South of Thailand's capital of Bangkok, offers some interesting tourist attractions. How about a visit to one of the crocodile farms on the island? An area of 7,000 sq metres is home to 100 various species of animals including Siam crocodiles, caimans, saltwater crocodiles, snakes, lizards and monkeys. It's a great opportunity to watch Thailand's wildlife. But be warned - don't try to imitate the professional trainer!

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