• WordNet 3.6
    • n Crocodilia crocodiles; alligators; caimans; gavials
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Crocodilia (Zoöl) An order of reptiles including the crocodiles, gavials, alligators, and many extinct kinds.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • crocodilia An order of Reptilia, formerly included with Lacertilia in Sauria, now separated as the highest existing reptiles. They are lizard-like in form, with long tails and four well-developed limbs, the anterior shorter than the posterior and with five complete digits, and the posterior four-toed. With a single exception, the living species have nails on the three radial and tibial digits; the feet are webbed; the nostrils are at the end of along snout, and can be closed; and the tympanic; membranes are exposed, but a cutaneous valve can be shut down over them. The skin is loricate, the dermal armor consisting of bony scutes covered with epidermal scales of corresponding form; the anus is longitudinal, as in the chelonians; the penis is single, and lodged in the cloaca; the teeth are distinctly socketed; the lungs are confined to the thorax; the heart is completely four-chambered, but the aortic arches communicate by the foramen Panizzæ, so that venous and arterial blood commingle outside the heart; the spinal column is well ossified; the vertebræ are mostly procœlous, as in all the existing species, amphicœlous or opisthocœlous in some extinct forms; the sacral vertebræ are reduced to two; the cervical bear free ribs; the ribs are bifurcated at their proximal ends; there is a series of so-called abdominal ribs disconnected from the vertebræ; and the skull is well ossified, with an interorbital septum, large alisphenoids and parotic processes, large fixed quadrates, ectopterygoids, completely bony tympanic cavities, rudimentary orbitosphenoids, if any, and no parietal foramen. The order ranges in time from the Oölitic strata to the present day, and contains all the huge saurians known as crocodiles, alligators, caymans, jacarés, gavials, etc. All the species are more or less aquatic, though none of the living ones is marine. The order has been divided into the five families Alligatoridæ, Crocodilidæ, Gavialidæ, Teleosauridæ, and Belodontidæ, the last two including only extinct forms. Other names of the order are Loricata, Emydosavria, and Hydrosauria. Other divisions of the order than those above given are: by Owen, into three suborders, Procælia, Amphicælia, and Opisthocælia; and by Huxley, likewise into three suborders, Parasuchia, Mesosuchia, and Eusuchia.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. L. crocodilus, crocodile


In literature:

The crocodilia and some of the lizards of our own day are aquatic, but none live constantly in the ocean, as do the cetacea amongst beasts.
"The Contemporary Review, Volume 36, September 1879" by Various
In Reptilia it lies close to the trachea, and in the Chelonia and Crocodilia is paired.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 8" by Various
Steneosauria * Steneosaurus +Crocodilia+ { 15.
"The History of Creation, Vol. II (of 2)" by Ernst Haeckel