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