Crocodiles are superb hunters. Fully grown crocs have few natural enemies, and are usually the top predators in their environment.
Saltwater Crocodiles have growth rings in their bones, just like a tree. Crocodiles live for about 70 years but some may live up to 100 years old.
Crocodiles have been around for a very long time – their relatives lived with the dinosaurs. Looking at their armour, their teeth, they hunting skill, it’s easy to imagine. Dinosaurs may be gone, but crocodiles are found all around the world, where there is warmth and water. They are excellent hunters and can move surprisingly fast given their size. Using photos, info boxes and more, The Crocodile Book introduces the reader to crocodiles of all sizes and temperaments, from the ‘Saltie’ of northern Australia and Asia, to the endangered Cuban crocodile. Panels give the scientific name, average length, prey for individual species and some indication of their habitat. Photos of the crocodiles are mostly on white background, although some show the crocodiles in their natural habitat. These latter demonstrate their skill for camouflage.
Malcolm Douglas shares his passion for these giant reptiles, offering reasons they should be respected rather than reviled and hunted. He provides insights into their lives and development, coached in language accessible to his readership without talking down to them. The up-close photos allow the reader access to crocodiles from a much closer distance than would be possible in the wild, or even in a zoo or farm environment. While nothing can replace the thrill of seeing animals in their natural environment, some animals are safer studied from a distance or through a camera lens. The Crocodile Book offers clear, concise, factual information and great photos for readers in lower- to middle-primary age groups.
The Crocodile Book: Armoured and Dangerous (Wild Planet), Malcolm Douglas
Black Dog Books 2009
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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