American Crocodile

American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus

Type of Animal:

Brackish, freshwater, & saltwater areas: coastal areas, coves, creeks, ponds, canals, mangrove swamps/surrounding areas, coastal lagoons, rivers, estuaries, salt lakes, river mouths, sea, swamps, lakes, streams, reservoirs, marshes, low-energy mangrove-lined bays, sandy shorelines, creek banks near deep water, canal berms, beaches, islets, cays

S Florida, Caribbean Islands, W & S Mexico, C America, N Venezuela, N & W Colombia, Ecuador, NW Peru

Elongated snout, grayish-green w/ white or yellow undersides, juveniles have dark cross banding on tail & back

Fish (including sharks), snails, crustaceans, insects, snakes, turtles (including adult sea turtles & snapping turtles), birds, frogs, carrion, mammals up to size of cattle, smaller crocodilians (including smaller members of own species, smaller alligators, & caimans), aquatic invertebrates, lizards, refuse

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, & breeding centers

Solitary or groups of 11-12 crocs, led by dominant male. Some groups reach a few dozen.

Additional Info:

Male: Bull
Female: Cow
Young: Hatchling
Group: Float/Bask
Male: 840-1100 lbs
Female: 380-430 lbs
Young: 3 lbs

3 months 

Life Span:
50-70 years

Body Length:
Male: 9.6-17.5 ft
Female: 8.2-9.10 ft
Young: 2 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 5 ft
Female: 4 ft

Main predators of adults are jaguars, bears, & very large sharks (though jaguars & bears sometimes get eaten by croc). Young preyed on by larger crocodilians, birds, raccoons, crabs, large predatory fish, lemon sharks, boa constrictors, spiny-tailed iguanas, coatis, canids, felids, tegus, & snapping turtles. Eggs taken by skunks, large predatory ants, & green iguanas. Anacondas & invasive pythons take adults sometimes, w/ whoever loses fight getting eaten. Bull sharks have taken small adults/sub-adults. 
Threatened due to habitat loss, water pollution, commercial farming, hunting for meat/hide, & road collisions.
Not as cold tolerant as alligators, which would explain why they don’t range further north.
In areas where they coexist, they sometimes compete w/ each other.
During breeding season, males emit low-frequency bellows to attract females.
Sex determination often determined by egg temperature, temps below 86 F producing mostly females, temps above 93 F producing mostly males, & temps in between producing fair amount of both sexes.
Sexually mature at 8-10 years old.
Adults much more tolerant of saltwater than juveniles & hatchlings.

Fun Fact(s):
They’ll often ingest stones to aid in digestion & control buoyancy.
In Florida, they’re rather shy but in Mexico & C America where fed they can be very bold. Either way, they’re highly dangerous.
¼ of young don’t reach the age of 4.
Only crocodiles found in US & only one known to cross paths w/ alligators.

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