Crocodiles, alligators and also the caimans are carnivores. They feed exclusively on different types of meat. The larger species like the saltwater crocodile, nile crocodile, black caiman or the american alligator are capable of attacking and killing humans.
Crocodile attacks on people occur for a variety of reasons:
When people are handling them
Crocodile defending its nest or territory
Self defense and preservation
For food, crocodiles are hunters
When the prey comes very close to them, they can and will attack with an astonishing and overwhelming speed, they are capable of leaps where they project almost the full body length out of the water in a vertical position.
Once they have killed the prey, it will tear its victim to pieces by violently shaking it from side to side if the victim is too large to swallow whole. The body of the victim is held above the surface of the water and torn to pieces or the crocodile will perform a death roll while holding a piece of the body. When the prey is of a large size, the arms, legs and the head can be separated from the torso. The crocodiles, alligators or caimans will then eat the smaller pieces.
After a known crocodile attack on a human, searchers will often find parts of the victims body and clothes, they have even been found in surrounding trees.
Crocodiles will eat dead animals, although evidence appears to show they would prefer recently killed prey. Some folk tales say that a crocodile will store its victim until it starts to rot, but there is little evidence of this. Not all attacks are come from the need to eat, sometimes they happen by accident when the creature is run into or surprised out of the water.
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