Crocodile

Croc"o*dile

(krk"*dl; 277), n. [L. crocodilus, Gr. kroko`deilos: cf. F. crocodile. Cf. Cookatrice.] 1. (Zol.) A large reptile of the genus Crocodilus, of several species. They grow to the length of sixteen or eighteen feet, and inhabit the large rivers of Africa, Asia, and America. The eggs, laid in the sand, are hatched by the sun's heat. The best known species is that of the Nile (Crocodilus vulgaris, or Crocodilus Niloticus). The Florida crocodile (Crocodilus Americanus) is much less common than the alligator and has longer jaws. The name is also sometimes applied to the species of other related genera, as the gavial and the alligator.
[1913 Webster]

2. (Logic) A fallacious dilemma, mythically supposed to have been first used by a crocodile.
[1913 Webster]

Crocodile bird (Zol.), an African plover (Pluvianus gypticus) which alights upon the crocodile and devours its insect parasites, even entering its open mouth (according to reliable writers) in pursuit of files, etc.; -- called also Nile bird. It is the trochilos of ancient writers. -- Crocodile tears, false or affected tears; hypocritical sorrow; -- derived from the fiction of old travelers, that crocodiles shed tears over their prey.
[1913 Webster]

Croc`o*dil"i*a

(-d?l"?-?), n. pl. [NL., fr. L. crocodilus crocodile.] (Zol.) An order of reptiles including the crocodiles, gavials, alligators, and many extinct kinds.
[1913 Webster]

 

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