<< Previous Next >>

Ethiopian Nile Crocodile

Ethiopian Nile Crocodile
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5136 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-14
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-12-10 8:19
Viewed: 13608
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello friends,
The second photo of a crocodile on Lake Chamo near Arba Minch. This photo is also taken from our boat which was a bit larger as the crocodile, about 8 metre.

Although the juveniles are generally restricted to eating small aquatic invertebrates and insects, they soon move onto larger vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles). Adults, however, can potentially take a wide range of large vertebrates, including antelope, buffalo, young hippos, and large cats. Fish and smaller vertebrates often form the greatest part of their diet, however. As with C. porosus, they have a reputation as being man-eaters, although probably kill more people than all other crocodilian species combined. Along with hippos and lions, crocodiles account for perhaps a few hundred deaths and disappearances each year, although exact figures are very hard to verify. Nile crocodiles will also often scavenge from carcasses, together with a number of other animals, all of which seem to tolerate each others' presence. They have a rather well-known relationship with several species of birds (e.g. spur-wing plover, called "trochilus" by Herodotus) which are reputed to pick pieces of meat from between the teeth of the crocodiles as they gape - the birds gain a meal, the crocodiles have their teeth cleaned of scraps they could not eat themselves. Whether such a mutual relationship actually exists is hard to determine from the literature and anecdotal reports, but seems more likely to be opportunistic rather than symbiotic.
Several prey animals have been found wedged under submerged branches and stones, leading to reports that the crocodiles store unwanted prey here until a later date. Some claim that it is necessary for the prey to decompose before the crocodiles are able to tear portions of flesh off, but this is unlikely to be true. The flesh may become softer if the prey remains in water after death, but crocodiles will certainly avoid rotting meat. When feeding, a number of individuals will hold onto a carcass with their powerful jaws whilst twisting their bodies. The anchorage provided by the other individuals allows large chunks to be torn off for easier swallowing. A few lone individuals have been reported to wedge prey between branches in order to provide the anchorage necessary for such actions to be effective, which could even be claimed to be a form of primitive tool use.
Other cooperative feeding behaviour has been reported, such as the action of many animals to cordon off an area of water to concentrate fish within. A hierarchy of feeding order is often observed in such situations, with more dominant animals feeding first. Groups of crocodiles will often move onto land to scavenge from kills made up to several hundred metres from the water. Adults have also been observed fishing using their bodies and tails to corral the fish towards the bank where they are concentrated and picked up with a sideways snatch of the jaws. Social behaviour in Nile crocodiles is often underestimated, although there are many aspects still poorly understood.
It has been observed that social status may influence an individual's feeding success, with less dominant animals tending to eat less in situations where they come into frequent social contact with other, more dominant individuals.

hansh, eng55, maurydv, jaycee, nglen, Silvio2006, banaei_nikon, Jamesp, albert, Alex99, Dis. Ac., boreocypriensis, marhowie, Heaven, red45 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-10 9:03]

Hi Peter,
Excellent capture.POV,details,sharpness and timing are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • hansh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
  • [2008-12-10 9:03]

Hello Peter

I hope the crocodile stopped on time, i would not want to dissapear in that mouth. Impressive picture of an animal i like most at a long distance.

Gr. Hans

Ciao Peter,
un'altra spettacolare cattura di Coccodrillo del Nilo, impressionanti POV frontale e composizione dal buon impatto visivo che, per effetto dello schiacciamento dei piani prodotto dal teleobiettivo, esaltano ancor pi la grossa mole dell'animale, ottima definizione.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-10 10:04]

Hi Peter,

What a big mouth he has! Great timing to get this of the not very attractive inside of his mouth. I think he could use a dentist. I think I would be too afraid of this crocodile to be able to take a picture. Terrific shot and a good souvenier of the boat ride.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-10 10:16]

Hi Peter. No to me that far close enough . What great timing on your part to cach this one with it mouth open. with good detail and natural colours. Very interesting notes . well done TFS.

Hi Peter, fantastic capture crocodile in great pose, what a mouth!
Very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter,
Excellent capture
Good focus & sharp
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-12-10 23:29]

Hi Peter

Great shot of this Nile Crocodile - the low pov adds to the drama and menace of this shot - but then it is only cooloing down!


Hello Peter,
Una excelent captura del frontal d'aquest gran cocodril del Nil. IMpresionanat bstia!!
Salutacions cordials.

Hello Peter
Impressive view on the mouth of this terrific croc
Good timing and focus
Well done

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-11 9:35]

Hi Peter.
I have not seen anything similar. Huge impression. Great POV and entire composition. And it is only 300 mm focal length. It is very good that you had large boat. My compliments and kind wishes.

hallo Peter,

Zo die denkt dat hij een lekker hapje krijgt?
Precies het goede moment, nog mooier was met een prooi maar deze mag er ook zijn.
Goed van scherpte en goede detailering in zijn bek.


Woww... superb capture of a giant crocodile mouth -like a cave:)-. Great timely shoot indeed. Unfortunately we have not got any crocodile species in Turkey (except Zoos) to photograph. You captured this one perfectly my friend.
TFS and cheers,

Hello Peter

Not a very comfortable looking space,I think I will pass on entering it.LOL
What a wonderful POV,excellent timing.
Good detail.
You handled the bright light well.
A little purple cast around the edge but that is to be expected under the lighting conditions.


Hi Peter,
That's a wow POV there buddy..Say ahhhh :)
Nicely composed with great detail, exposure, and DOF.
I too note the blue cast that should not be there.

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-12-14 12:34]

Hi Peter!

This jaw is so impressive. The frontal point of view is ideal to highlight this impression. You have put this crocodile very well on stage. I also appreciate the detailed and instructive notes.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9100] (31094)
  • [2008-12-15 0:37]

Hello Peter!

Fantastic POV. Maybe not for prey, but for us for sure :-) Incredible details of this big reptile and very good idea for photo. Looks almost ancient.

Calibration Check