American Crocodile
Crocodylus acutus

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Crocodilia
FAMILY: Crocodylidae

SIZE:
May attain length of over 15 feet but large specimens are rare

RANGE:
Southern tip of florida; Central America

HABITAT:
Salt marshes in remote southern area of Everglades; mangrove-lined creeks and bays

DIET:
Wild - Small animals, fish, snakes, turtles, birds, rodents
Zoo - Meat, fish, and chicken

FACTS:

  • Not considered man-eater but should be approached with caution -- can be a very dangerous animal
  • Grayish green gold color is good camouflage
  • Pointed head and snout
  • More aggressive than the alligator

YOUNG:
Female buries around 38 eggs in sand along beaches; hatchlings 9 inches long; mother leads young crocs to water where they follow behind her like ducklings.

Females guard nest, opens it at hatching, assists juveniles in escaping the egg, and may carry young to the water in her mouth. Males and females protect pods.

STATUS:
CITES App. I; Vulnerable.

REFERENCE:
"Handbook of Alligators and Crocodiles", Steve Grenard