Crocodiles are generally large, ponderous, amphibious animals, somewhat lizardlike in appearance, and carnivorous in habit. These reptiles are the largest and heaviest of present-day reptiles. They have powerful jaws with many conical teeth and short legs with clawed, webbed toes. The tail is long and massive and the skin thick and plated. The large horny plates that cover most of the body generally are arranged in a regular pattern. Crocodiles are predators, mostly nocturnal, and spend most of their time in the water; they are also known to take rather long journeys over land. They are of particular interest because of its evolutionary position: the crocodiles are the last living link with the dinosaur-like reptiles of prehistoric times. They are, at the same time, the nearest living relatives of the birds.
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