“Mom of a Croc” is the premiere episode and the first episode of the first season of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on January 3, 2011. The episode was written and directed by Chris Kratt. On April 5, 2011, “Mom of a Croc” was first released on DVD as part of Wild Kratts: Creature Adventures.
"At Uganda's Nile River, zoologists Chris and Martin Kratt are on a mission to show one of their fellow Wild Kratts team members-brilliant young inventor Aviva Corcovado that there's more to crocodiles than just violence and snapping jaws. After shrinking themselves down to a few inches tall by using Aviva's Miniaturizer invention, the Kratt brothers disguise themselves as crocodile eggs and sneak into a mother crocodile's new nest. In the Wild Kratts team's turtle-shaped aircraft and headquarters-the Tortuga HQ, one of Aviva's greatest inventions-the Wild Kratts tech team, consisting of Aviva, communications expert and mechanic Koki, and skilled pilot Jimmy Z monitor Chris and Martin and watch as the mother crocodile faithfully guards her nest from predators for months without even eating anything. Eventually, as the crocodile eggs hatch and the crocodile mom uses her mouth to carry several of her newly-hatched babies to the river, Aviva changes her mind about crocodiles and decides that these reptiles are in fact caring and dedicated mothers. But when the mother crocodile leaves the river to go get more hatchlings from her nest, predators threaten the first batch of baby crocodiles. The Kratt brothers must use the incredible Creature Power Suits two of Aviva's inventions to gain the abilities of crocodiles and protect the vulnerable crocodile hatchlings."
The episode begins with a live action segment, which shows the Kratt brothers feeding alligators of various ages. Afterwards, they ask their “What if?” question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
Along the banks of a river in Africa, the Kratt brothers hide as a mother crocodile comes ashore and begins laying eggs. The Kratt brothers are doing this because they want to change the mind of fellow teammate Aviva, who thinks that crocodiles are cold-blooded monsters that will snap at anything. After miniaturizing, the brothers near the crocodile, which Martin names Crocodilla. They then enter Crocodilla’s nest after she buries the eggs and packs them in. Once inside, Martin begins naming some of the to-be crocodiles: Chomp, Crunch, Jaws, Munch, Snapper, and Fred. Suddenly, Crocodilla is nowhere to be found, and a monitor lizard digs into the nest and steals Fred. Aviva is really upset about this, even after Crocodilla shows up from the water and chases the lizard away, making it drop Fred. Martin jumps out of the nest to roll Fred back inside before the nest gets covered again by Crocodilla.
Weeks pass, and Aviva begins to admit that crocodiles are dedicated mothers, since Crocodilla did not budge from her nest; that is, until Crocodilla heads off to the river with Chris on her back. Along the way there is a quick run in with a bull hippo, which makes a charge for Crocodilla, who evades it. This incident inspires Aviva to build something to “keep these crocs in line”. Meanwhile, Martin discovers that one of the to-be crocodiles, Fred, is a female. He finds out that the reason why Fred and all the rest of the to-be crocodiles are female is that the temperature of the nest influences them to develop into females, so Martin gives them new names: Chompella, Crunchina, Jawsana, Munchette, Snappifer, and Frederica. But then, a soft-shell turtle digs up the nest in order to lay its eggs in it. Crocodilla sees this and chases the turtle away just before it finishes laying its eggs. Soon after, the Kratt brothers report that the crocodile and soft-shell turtle eggs are hatching. Crocodilla hears their chirping sounds and opens the nest, but things take a strange turn when she starts taking in mouthfuls of hatchlings. This horrifies Aviva because she thinks that Crocodilla is eating her own young. The brothers reassure her that she is only carrying them in her mouth. Crocodilla takes her hatchings, the soft-shell turtles, and the Kratt brothers to the water. It is this that truly convinces Aviva that crocodile moms “are the coolest”. But trouble is not over yet, as a monitor lizard crawls their way to hunt crocodile hatchlings. With Crocodilla picking up the remaining hatchlings, the Kratt brothers activate Gharial Powers to fill in for her. They manage to fend off the monitor lizard and some other predators, but they soon revert back to human form. Crocodilla returns to find the two with her babies. Following her protective instincts she charges at them, but the brothers are rescued by Aviva in her newest invention: the Hippo Sub. In the end, the gang summarizes their adventure, and Aviva says she loves crocodiles and regrets judging them before hand.
The show transitions into the ending live action segment, in which the Kratt brothers place some ball python eggs into an incubator, which later hatch. Afterwards, they conclude the episode by saying “Keep on creature adventuring; we’ll see you on the creature trail!”
- Featured Animal: Nile Crocodile
- Nile Crocodile: Crocodilla, Frederica, Munchette, Chompella, Crunchina, Jawsana, Snappifer
- Other Animals: Red-billed quelea, hippo, marabou stork, Nile monitor, African softshell turtle, honey badger, red-veined darter
Key Facts and Creature Moments
- The temperature of a Nile crocodile nest chamber determines the gender of all of the hatchlings.
- Sometimes, a soft-shell turtle will lay its eggs in a Nile crocodile nest chamber, because the eggs will be protected.
- The bionomical complication shown during the cartoon segment is the predation of animals who live off of a Ugandan river (more specifically egg predators).
View the episode transcript here.
Click here to view the gallery.
- The Kratt brothers use the Miniaturizer to shrink, but Aviva does not invent the Miniaturizer until the episode “Mystery of the Squirmy Wormy”.
- The Kratt brothers mentioned Aviva making Gharial Crocodile Discs while they were creature adventuring in Asia. This could be a reference to the episode “Kerhonk”.
- Nile Crocodiles show their bottom teeth when they close their mouths.