General information on crocodiles

Venerated in ancient Egypt, sacred in many African villages, hunted for their skin and their meat. Everywhere we can find crocodiles: are feared, respected and demonised in various cultures… With their prehistorical look, these animals with huge mouths and terrifyingly sharp teeth seem to have been designed to scare us! Yet despite our fears, our trembling and our terror, younger and older ones are keen to find out more about these fascinating reptiles. Put your prejudices and your fears aside as you enter our glasshouse to find out more about the incredible world of reptiles.

What is a crocodile ?
A “crocodile” is the name commonly given to the 24 existing crocodilian species whom are found in the planet’s warm regions. The crocodilian order is formed out of 3 families:

  • Crocodylidae, which includes crocodiles
  • Alligatoridae, which includes alligators and caimans
  • Gavialidae, which includes gharials and false gharials

A Crocodile is tetrapod (they have four limbs), oviparous (they lay eggs) and ectotherm; it means that its body temperature changes, depending on the temperature surrounding it. The crocodile spends most of its time regulating its body temperature to reach 30°!

How have these animals outlived their dinosaur cousins?
How do they stay so still?
Are they super predators or vulnerable preys?
What’s special about crocodile skin? What does it mean to cry crocodile tears?

Stay alert and let your senses come alive as you observe our crocodilians as if you were in their natural environment !


Morelet’s crocodile – Tequila

Albino American alligator – Albi

False gharial – Tommy

African dwarf crocodile – Sédjè and Togbota

Gharial – Pinocchio

Spectacled caiman – Potter

Nile crocodile – Schwarzie

American alligator – John

Chinese alligator – Chichi