PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Skin of a young Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), showing scutes (bony scale-like plates) on its abdominal underside. The scutes on the underside are both paler and softer than the armoured upper surfaces. The scutes are comprised of the protein keratin, and are shed in patches and replaced as the crocodile grows. This crocodile is a carnivorous predator that inhabits tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, near swamps, lakes and rivers. The young, become independent at the age of two years. Photographed in 2011, at the Pierrelatte crocodile farm (La Ferme aux Crocodiles) in southern France.
Model release not required. Property release not required.