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1 June 2008 Diet of the Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Kevin M. Wallace, Alison J. Leslie
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The analysis of stomach contents can shed light on patterns of prey availability and foraging habits of a predator; however, recent studies have shown the potential bias in dietary studies resulting from differential digestion rates of various prey items. The stomachs of 286 Nile Crocodiles (17–166 cm snout–vent length) were lavaged over a two-year period. Taking prey residence times into account, the contents were examined for prey eaten within 24 h. Crocodylus niloticus has a similar ontogenetic shift in diet to that of other crocodilians. Yearlings consumed primarily aquatic insecta and arachnida. As crocodile size increased (juveniles), the diet became more diverse including crustacea, amphibia, and fish. The largest size class (subadults) consumed primarily fish. Yearlings fed consistently throughout the year; however a higher proportion of empty stomachs occurred within the juvenile and subadult size classes during the winter months. Seven species of nematodes were found within the stomachs, four of which represent new geographic records.

Kevin M. Wallace and Alison J. Leslie "Diet of the Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana," Journal of Herpetology 42(2), 361-368, (1 June 2008).
Accepted: 1 December 2007; Published: 1 June 2008
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