"Mom of a Croc" is the pilot episode and the first episode of Season 1 of PBS Kids' Wild Kratts. It was written and directed by Chris Kratt. It is the first episode of the series overall and premiered on January 3, 2011.
At the Nile River in Uganda, 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 is 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, 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. The baby alligator was fed a dragonfly, the week-old alligator ate a small fish, and the biggest alligator got the biggest fish. Afterwards, they ask their “What if?” question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
Along the banks of a river in Uganda, 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, including a marabou stork and a honey badger, 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 luckily Aviva arived to pick up the Kratts 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!”
- Martin Kratt (cast) as Martin Kratt (character)
- Chris Kratt (cast) as Chris Kratt (character)
- Athena Karkanis as Aviva Corcovado
- Heather Bambrick as Koki
- Jonathan Malen as Jimmy Z
Note: Featured animals are in bold.
- Nile Crocodile: Crocodilla, Chompella, Crunchina, Jawsana, Munchette, Snappifer, Frederica
- Marabou Stork
- Nile Monitor (called Monitor lizard)
- African Softshell Turtle (called Softshell turte)
- Honey Badger
- Flame-tipped Jewel (called Dragonfly)
Note: Featured animals are in bold, live action and mentioned animals are linked to Wikipedia.
- The Kratt brothers use the Miniaturizer to shrink, but Aviva does not invent the Miniaturizer until the episode “Mystery of the Squirmy Wormy”. It's likely that the episode served as a prequel to this one.
- 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”. It's also likely that "Kerhonk" serves as a prequel to "Mom of a Croc".
- Aviva has a fear of crocodiles, but it is later diminished after she realizes her mistake of judging them before getting to know them, which is when she gets used to them.
- This is the first appearance of the Hippo Sub.
Key facts and Creature Moments
- A Nile Crocodile can grow over 20 feet and one of the two largest crocodiles in the world.
- They can have up to 64 dagger teeth.
- When a mother crocodile is laying her eggs, she goes into this special trance.
- Only about half of her eggs usually survive the predators. So they guard their nest day in and day out for months while the eggs develop.
- Nile Crocodiles are cold blooded. Their bodies take on whatever temperature is around them. So when they get too hot, a croc has no choice but to cool off in the water to survive.
- Crocodiles become girls or boys based on how hot or cold the eggs are. If the nest is 88° to 93°, they grow into boys. If it is colder or warmer than that, they grow into girls.
- Sometimes, a softshell turtle will lay its eggs in a Nile crocodile nest chamber, because the eggs will be protected.
- When baby crocodiles hatched, they make a kind of sound to call their mom.
- Mother crocodiles pick their young ones up using their mouth. They are extra careful because of how sharp their teeth are.
- Mother crocodiles put their young ones in the creche, a kind of nursery pool for crocodiles.