Crocodile eating wildebeestCrocodiles feeding on Wilderbeest at the Mara river in Kenya
In the Mara River between 11.00 and 12.15 hours two big crocodiles killed 5 wildebeest, one adult (200 kg) and 4 large calves (100 kg each). The crocodiles stored their bodies underwater where the current would not carry them away possibly under the riverbank. By 16.00 hours on the same day many crocodiles had gathered in the area and had began feeding on the dead wildebeest. Here a large crocodile emerges from the river bottom under the riverbank with one of the dead wildebeest he killed.
The big crocodile beheads its prey under water by spinning on the axis of its own body and emerges to further dismember it. Note- crocodiles have piercing teeth and very strong jaws. They cannot cut meat so they have to tear large preys to pieces. They tear their victims in two ways. One way is for the crocodile to seize a mouthful of the victim and spin on its own body axis tearing a piece off. Usually in this case other crocodiles help by holding the body of the victim displaying feeding co-operative behavior. The second way is to violently spin the prey in the air to tear a piece off.
Holds its prey by its front legs and violently flicks it in the air tearing neck and shoulders from the rest of the body.
The large crocodile then proceeds to soften the victim’s hind-quarters by biting it repeatedly before swallowing. Note the size of the jaw muscles as it bites. Also note the 3 smaller crocodiles showing co-operative behavior which might secure them smaller pieces of the victim.
The large crocodile then swallows one of the hind legs.
Meanwhile nearby another wildebeest is being shared by two big crocodiles that are showing cooperative feeding behavior. Do you recognize the one with one half of its nose missing?
Yet another large crocodile emerges nearby with a mouthful of flesh.
Yet another emerges swallowing a wildebeest calf’s head. Note an ear, a horn and the wind pipe.
Yet another emerges with intestines
The feast is almost over. The last of the food remain in this big crocodile’s mouth. It is still attempting to soften the wildebeest’s leg by biting it but it is not very determined. The smaller crocodiles will use the vice-like hold of the large crocodile’s jaws to tear pieces of flesh off the leg until little remains. The large crocodile has almost a full belly and will continue to feed in the coming days of the migration. Feeding less aggressively it will give others more chances. When full the crocodile’s belly will look like a rugby ball probably holding 200 kg of flesh, skin and bone. It will sleep for a long time to digest and its next meal may not be in months.