Silently suspended in water, with only their eyes, strils and ears breaking the surface, these members of the crocodilian family play a terrifying sit-and-wait game with their prey, striking with lightning speed, chilling accuracy and a deadly bite stronger than any other living creature. Their victims stand little chance once held in their strong jaws. Land-dwelling prey are equally at risk - crocodilians can walk, gallop and leap at high speed, making them among nature's fiercest predators. The crocodile and alligator families descend from the reptiles that roamed Earth alongside the disaurs some 250 million years ago. Today, most of the land-dwelling crocodilians live in tropical lowlands, while the broad-suted American and Chinese alligators have adapted to cooler temperatures. In 'Exploring the World of Alligators and Crocodiles', young readers will learn about the crocodilians' life history, physical characteristics, courtship displays, communication strategies and family life. They'll also find out how these semiaquatic reptiles rely on their senses and speed to survive - and why humans should keep their distance. The Exploring the World of...nature series was created for young readers who are eager to learn more about the wild creatures of the world. Each title contains beautiful photographs of the animals in their natural habitats and the highly readable text explores their daily lives and physical characteristics, how they make their homes, how they raise their young and what they eat.
Tracy C. Read is an editor and writer with a special interest in nature and the environment.