How much do crocodiles eat? The closest I found to an answer was on German wikipedia, where it says that adult nile crocodiles eat "only about 50 full meals a year." While interesting, without knowing what a full meal is this is meaningless. So how much does an adult crocodile actually eat?

I think relevant other questions in this context are:

  • Do all adult crocodiles (or even all crocodilia) eat roughly the same (corrected for body mass)?
  • Some crocodiles apparantly eat fruit and seeds on a regular basis*, is this is a relevant part of their caloric intake or just a "vitamin supplement"?

*paywalled article, I only read the abstract

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    $\begingroup$ re the close vote: a) I've added the additional questions because I don't think one can answer the question meaningful without at least adressing them (but could be wrong) b) a comment why exactly the vote to close would be appreciated. $\endgroup$ – mart Jan 25 '16 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ fwiw, english wikipedia on crocodilia states "10-20% of what a lion needs" witht this paywalled source: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1986.tb01518.x/… someone with access could use this maybe? $\endgroup$ – mart Jan 25 '16 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ full meal= bloating with days of digestion $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible May 22 '17 at 11:04

It's only a partial answer, but a Nile crocodile can eat up to half its body weight at a sitting, according to National Geographic. Since few freshwater fish weigh half as much as a crocodile, we can probably assume these croc feasts occur when they're able to ambush ungulates (e.g. zebras and antelope).

So one guess is that a crocodile feasts on ungulates about fifty times a year, though its normal diet is fish. Of course, I could be wrong - perhaps five fish caught in the space of an hour are considered a full meal as well.

I never knew crocodilians ate fruit. (The link you provided doesn't mention fruit, by the way.) But this article says they can eat "large quantities" of fruit, suggesting they're looking for more than supplemental vitamins. But who knows? It sounds like scientists don't yet know much about fruit-eating crocodilians.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm a bit confused by "the link you provided doesn't mention fruit" - the link (which appears to have been there since the original question rather than edited in later) mentions frugivory (fruit comsumption) repeatedly and includes this in the abstract: "We found evidence of frugivory in 13 of 18 (72.2%) species [...]. Fruit types consumed by crocodilians varied widely; over half (52.1%) were fleshy fruits. Some fruits are consumed as gastroliths or ingested incidental to prey capture; however, there is little doubt that on occasion, fruit is deliberately consumed, often in large quantities." $\endgroup$ – arboviral Oct 24 '16 at 10:35

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