This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
This crocodile’s eyes are just above the water. It watches for prey.


A crocodile sits on a riverbank. T e hot sun warms its dark, scaly skin. T e crocodile sits very still. It sees a herd of wildebeests on the other side of the river. T ey are on the move. T e wildebeests thunder by with pounding


hooves. A dusty cloud is kicked up by each hoof. T irsty, the wildebeests stop by the river’s edge. T ey gulp mouthfuls of water. Unnoticed, the crocodile slips into the water


without a sound. It holds its legs close to its sides. Its powerful tail quietly swishes back and forth. Slowly, the crocodile glides forward. Most of its body is hidden under the water. Above the water, its eyes, ears, and nose can see, hear, and smell the herd. Some members of the herd have had


enough to drink. T ey’re ready to cross the river and move on. Wildebeests travel together by instinct, and it’s important that they stay together. T ey find safety in numbers. If the wildebeests move together, a predator


will have a harder time attacking one of them. Staying close to each other, they line up single file. T e wildebeests step into the river and begin to wade across. T e crocodile stops swimming. It floats like a log into the path of the wildebeests.


6 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER


T e line of wildebeests is now within the


crocodile’s reach. T e crocodile stays still. T e first wildebeest passes it. T en another and another. T e crocodile waits for just the right moment. Suddenly, it springs forward. Its open jaws snap down on one of the smaller animals with bone-crushing force. T e crocodile then drags the wildebeest toward deeper water. T e crocodile uses its instincts to close flaps


on its nose. It also closes a flap in the back of its throat. T en it rolls and rolls and rolls. T is is called a death roll, and for good reason. T e wildebeest drowns. T en the crocodile drags the wildebeest’s


body to the river bottom. T ere, a fallen tree lies stuck in the muddy bank. T e crocodile wedges the wildebeest’s body under the tree trunk. T en the crocodile swims back up to the surface. T e crocodile will come


back later to eat its prey. T e rest of the wildebeests have crossed the river. T ey huddle together on the other side, a safe distance from the reptile. T ey will stick close together.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24