Do Crocodiles Lay Eggs?



Crocodiles DO lay eggs.

Crocodiles are reptiles and members of the crocodilian family. While these reptiles look similar to alligators, they are much larger and more aggressive. Crocodiles reproduce by laying eggs in nests that hatch when they reach maturity.


Crocodiles are less common in the United States than alligators. These large reptiles prefer brackish or salt water to fresh water and often keep to themselves. Crocodiles have long snouts and very strong tails.


When crocodiles reach sexual maturity, they begin to court a mate. This process can last for several hours or several days. Once courtship has ended, crocodiles mate and the females search for an appropriate nesting area to lay her eggs. Female crocodiles can lay from 20 to 60 eggs that must incubate for 85 days before hatching. The sex of crocodile young is not determined at the time of fertilization but on the temperature at which the eggs are kept during incubation.


Crocodiles construct nests upon elevated sites that have adequate drainage. These nests can either be holes in the soil or mounds above the soil. Female crocodiles do not stay near the nest during incubation. After opening the nest, the mother crocodile leaves the new hatchlings to survive on their own.



“WEC 38/UW157: American Crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) in Florida .” EDIS – Electronic Data Information Source – UF/IFAS Extension. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

“Captive Breeding and the Management of Adult Crocodiles.” FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, for a world without hunger. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.