Do you know what a group of crocodiles is called? It’s actually called a “bask.”
This might seem like an odd name for a group of animals that are often known for being solitary, but it’s fitting. These reptiles come together to mate and raise their young, and they can be quite social when they’re not hunting or hiding from danger.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the behavior and ecology of crocodiles and their groups!
Why Do Crocodiles live in groups?
Although most reptiles live alone, many crocodilian species gather in huge gatherings. Outside of their size, these collections of animals do not have any cohesion or social structure.
They hang out at basking areas and sunbathe rather closely together. Groups regularly compete for desirable sections of a big catch, such as a buffalo.
Crocodiles live in groups to; take turns hunting and resting, cooperate in hunting, and protect the young.
What are the benefits of living in a group for crocodiles?
As we mentioned, there are several benefits to living in a group for crocodiles. One of the most important benefits is safety in numbers.
Crocodiles in groups can protect their young from predators. This is especially important for species that lay their eggs on land, like the American crocodile.
They can also take turns basking in the sun and hunting for food. This allows them to conserve energy.
Additionally, crocodiles in groups can cooperate to help catch prey that is too large for one of them to take down alone.
How Many Crocodiles are there in a bask?
The size of a bask depends on the species of crocodile and the availability of food and basking sites.
On average crocodiles often bask in groups of up to 20-30 individuals.
Some larger species of crocodile such as the Nile crocodile are very territorial so often there will only be one male crocodile and several female crocodiles in a group.
How Long Do young Crocodiles Stay With Their Mother For Protection?
The length of time that young crocodiles stay with their mother for protection varies by species.
After crocodiles mate, the female crocodile lays about 20 – 40 eggs (a clutch) in a nest she makes near a river bank once a year. She covers the nest with leaves and other vegetation.
The rotting vegetation keeps the eggs warm and the nest moist. The incubation temperature for crocodile eggs is 28 – 32 degrees Celsius, relative humidity is 95 – 100 percent, incubation period is 70 – 80 days.
The female stays and guards the nest until the eggs hatch. The hatchlings call out and the female crocodile opens up the nest and carries them to the water, where they immediately start feeding on crabs, shrimps and insects.
About half will not survive the first year due to predators.
The females are extremely protective and the baby crocodiles stay with the others in the bask.
The hatchlings learn to stay near their mother for a few months before venturing out and staying with the same bask for many years.
The young male crocodiles then head off to search for a new location to live in.
Are Crocodiles Dangerous to Humans?
The larger species of crocodiles can be very dangerous to humans.
The Saltwater and Nile Crocodiles are the most dangerous, killing hundreds of people each year in parts of South-East Asia and Africa.
Mugger crocodiles and possibly the endangered Black Caiman, are also very dangerous to humans.
American alligators are less aggressive than crocodiles and rarely assault humans without provocation.
Are Crocodiles Endangered?
Yes, some species of crocodiles are endangered. The main reason they are endangered is because of hunting and habitat loss.
The following crocodile species are listed as animals of concern by the IUCN Red List:
- American crocodile Crocodylus acutus Vulnerable
- Orinoco crocodile Crocodylus intermedius Critically Endangered
- Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis Critically Endangered
- Mugger crocodile Crocodylus palustris Vulnerable
- Dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis Vulnerable
- Cuban crocodile Crocodylus rhombifer Critically Endangered
Crocodiles have been hunted for their skin which is used to make leather products such as belts and shoes. Their meat is also considered a delicacy in some cultures.
Habitat loss is a problem for crocodiles because they need large areas of wetlands to live in and these areas are being destroyed by humans.
The destruction of wetlands is happening because of pollution, draining of swamps for development, and conversion to farmland.
What can be done to help protect Crocodiles?
Crocodiles are protected by law in many countries but this does not stop people from hunting them.
Education is important to help people understand the importance of crocodiles and why they need to be protected.
Creating more nature reserves and national parks where crocodiles live is one way to help protect them.
Restrictions on hunting and trading of crocodile products would also help to protect these animals.
Crocodiles are apex predators so are an important part of the ecosystem and play a role in controlling the populations of other animals such as fish, reptiles, and mammals.
Without crocodiles, these populations would increase and this would have a negative impact on the environment.
It is important to protect all species of crocodiles because they are all important for the ecosystem.
What is a Group of Crocodiles Called?
A group of crocodiles is called a bask.
How Many Crocodiles live in a Group?
A bask of crocodiles can contain around 20 individual crocodiles