American Crocodile

American Crocodile

American Crocodile
Crocodylus acutus


CLASS
Reptilia
ORDER
Crocodilia
FAMILY
Crocodylidae

Range

Southern Florida, southern Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America


Habitat

Fresh or brackish water of river estuaries, coastal lagoons, and mangrove swamps


Diet

Primarily fish; also crustaceans, turtles, birds and mammals

Weight

MALE Avg. 840 lbs.
FEMALE Avg. 380 lbs.

Length

MALE Avg. 13 ft.
FEMALE Avg. 10 ft.

Incubation

90 days

Clutch

20 - 60 eggs

IUCN Status

Vulnerable

USFWS Status

Threatened

Facts

  • Of the 23 different species of crocodilians in the world, 2 species are native to the United States, and south Florida is the only place where both of these species coexist (American Alligator and American Crocodile).
  • Crocodiles are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. Crocodiles control their body temperature by basking in the sun, or moving to areas with warmer or cooler air or water temperatures.
  • Crocodilians have valves that close off the nostrils and ear openings when they submerge under the water. Also, a flange closes in the back of the throat, allowing them to swallow food underwater without drowning.
  • Crocodiles have brains and hearts that are more advanced than any other living reptile.

 

Conservation

American crocodiles are ecologically important as predators. They help the environment by controlling some over-populated fish species that may cause an imbalance in the aquatic ecosystem.

The American crocodile population plummeted during the mid-1900s due to unregulated hunting for its hide. Although the population is slowly recovering thanks to restrictions on hunting, habitat loss poses a major challenge to their survival.

Vulnerable

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

e-Newsletter