American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) - Species Profile (2023)

Crocodylus acutus
(American crocodile)
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American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) - Species Profile (2)

Crocodylus acutus Cuvier, 1807

Common name: American crocodile

Synonyms and Other Names: cocodrilo amarillo

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govAmerican crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) - Species Profile (3)

Identification: Crocodylus acutus is a large crocodilian that reaches a total length of 2.3-3.7 m (7.5-12 ft), with record sizes of 4.6 m (15 ft) for the U.S. and 7 m (23 ft) for South America (Conant and Collins, 1998). A long, tapering snout with prominently displayed teeth while the mouth is closed (especially the 4th tooth in the lower jaw) , distinguishes this species from Alligator mississippiensis, the American alligator (Behler and King, 1979; Conant and Collins, 1998; Powell et al., 1998). American crocodiles lack the prominent, bony ridge in front of and between the eyes that characterizes Caiman crocodilus, the common caiman (Conant and Collins, 1998; Powell et al., 1998). For comparison see the species accounts titled "Alligator mississippiensis (Daudin, 1801)" and "Caiman crocodilus (Linnaeus, 1758)" on this website. The overall coloration ranges from gray, tannish gray, to greenish gray with dusky markings; juveniles may have black crossbands or rows of spots (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Moler, 1992; Conant and Collins, 1998; Ernst et al., 1999). The vocalization of C. acutus is a low rumble that is not a penetrating as the voice of A. mississippiensis (Conant and Collins, 1998).

The American crocodile has been illustrated by a variety of authors (Neill, 1971; Guggisberg, 1972; Carr, 1973; Smith and Smith, 1977; Behler and King, 1979; Alvarez del Toro, 1982; Smith and Brodie, 1982; Hirschhorn, 1986; Webb et al., 1987; Lang, 1989; Ross and Magnusson, 1989; Ashton and Ashton, 1991; Carmichael and Williams, 1991; Grenard, 1991; Moler, 1992; Lamar, 1997; Murphy, 1997; Campbell, 1998; Conant and Collins, 1998; Powell et al., 1998; Bartlett and Bartlett, 1999; Behler, 1999; Ernst et al., 1999; Kaiser et al., 2001).

Size: 2.3-3.7 m total length

Native Range: In North America, C. acutus lives at the northernmost extent of its range, found only along the extreme southern coastline of Florida, including the Keys, primarily confined to the counties of Dade and Monroe, with individuals wandering as far north as Palm Beach County on the east coast and Sarasota County on the west coast; these northern wanderings may encompass their historical range (Reese, 1915; Duellman and Schwartz, 1958; Carr, 1973; Stevenson, 1976; Moler, 1988, 1992; Kushlan and Mazzotti, 1989a; Lazell, 1989; Ashton and Ashton, 1991; Carmichael and Williams, 1991; Conant and Collins; 1998; Bartlett and Bartlett, 1999; Ernst et al., 1999; King, 2000; Meshaka et al., 2000). The rest of its range includes Atlantic and Pacific coastal regions of Mexico, Central America, and northern South America as far south as Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, and the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Martinique, and Margarita (Barbour and Ramsden, 1919; Smith and Smith, 1976, 1977, 1993; Alvarez del Toro, 1982; Schwartz and Henderson, 1985, 1991; Groombridge, 1987; King, 1989; Ross and Magnusson, 1989; Grenard, 1991; Flores-Villela, 1993; Powell et al., 1996, 1999; Campbell, 1998; Crombie, 1999; Ernst et al., 1999; Estrada and Ruibal, 1999; Kaiser et al., 2001). The American crocodile seems to be extirpated from Trinidad (Murphy, 1997).



Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands

Guam Saipan
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Crocodylus acutus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
SC200820081Bulls Bay

Table last updated 2/27/2023

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: In Florida, C. acutus prefers brackish waters and coastal mangrove swamps but may wander inland or out to sea (Ashton and Ashton, 1991; Moler, 1992). One population of American Crocodiles exists in the canal system of a Florida power plant (Gaby et al., 1985; Grenard, 1991). Adults are fairly tolerant of high salinity levels, but the young may be dependent on drinking from lenses of freshwater that temporarily float on heavier saltwater following rainfall (Moler, 1992).

The diet consists mostly of crabs, fish, snakes, turtles, birds, and small mammals (including dogs), with insects and spiders included in the diet of juveniles (Moler, 1992). In Florida, mating occurs in late winter and early spring (Moler, 1992). Females lay hard-shelled eggs in April or May, which are buried in a simple hole or mound of soil or on a beach, stream bank, or canal levee (Gaby et al., 1985; Kushlan and Mazzotti, 1989b; Grenard, 1991; Moler, 1992). Females are not as diligent about protecting the nest as Alligator mississippiensis, but will open the nest at hatching and transport young to the water in their mouths (Kushlan and Mazzotti, 1989b; Moler, 1992).

(Video) American Crocodiles in Florida!!!

Means of Introduction: This crocodile was illegally transported to Virginia then released into the swamp (Mitchell, 1994). Pet release in Puerto Rico. Although the island of Puerto Rico is outside the normal native range for this species, an adult could theoretically have swum to Puerto Rico; however, because the individual collected was a juvenile, it is believed to be the result of a pet release. This same area also hosts a population of spectacled caiman (C. crocodylus) that resulted from pet releases (Lever, 2003; Kraus, 2009).

Status: This single C. acutus was collected; they are not established in Virginia (Mitchell, 1994), or in Puerto Rico.

Remarks: Several authors have summarized or reviewed the taxonomy of C. acutus (Smith and Smith, 1977; King, 1989; Ernst et al., 1999). Liner (1994) provides a Spanish vernacular name for C. acutus in Mexico. Various authors have provided summaries or reviews of the natural history of C. acutus (Neill, 1971; Alvarez del Toro, 1982; Gaby et al., 1985; Kushlan and Mazzotti, 1989b; Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Moler, 1992; Campbell, 1989; Kaiser et al., 2001; and a number of contributions compiled by Webb et al., 1987). Lang (1989) has reviewed complexities of the social behavior of American crocodiles. By far the most exhaustive review of the literature on C. acutus is by Ernst et al. (1999). Scientific and standard English names follow Crother (2008).

In Florida, C. acutus prefers brackish waters and coastal mangrove swamps but may wander inland or out to sea (Ashton and Ashton, 1991; Moler, 1992). One population of American crocodiles exists in the canal system of a Florida power plant (Gaby et al., 1985; Grenard, 1991). Adults are fairly tolerant of high salinity levels, but the young may be dependent on drinking from lenses of freshwater that temporarily float on heavier saltwater following rainfall (Moler, 1992). The diet consists mostly of crabs, fish, snakes, turtles, birds, and small mammals (including dogs), with insects and spiders included in the diet of juveniles (Alvarez del Toro, 1982; Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Moler, 1992). In Florida, mating occurs in late winter and early spring (Moler, 1992). Females lay hard-shelled eggs in April or May, buried in a simple hole or mound of soil, on a beach, stream bank or canal levee (Gaby et al., 1985; Kushlan and Mazzotti, 1989b; Grenard, 1991; Moler, 1992). Females are not as diligent about protecting the nest as A. mississippiensis, but will open the nest at hatching and transport young to the water in their mouths (Kushlan and Mazzotti, 1989b; Moler, 1992).

Although adult American crocodiles are potentially dangerous to humans, they are not prone to unprovoked attacks like some other species of the genus Crocodylus (Moler, 1992; Conant and Collins, 1998). Crocodylus acutus is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, both federally and in the State of Florida (Moler, 1992; Mitchell, 1994; Levell, 1997).

References: (click for full references)

Alvarez del Toro, M. 1982. Los Reptiles de Chiapas. Tercera Edición, Corregida y Aumentada. Instituto de Historia Natural, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico. 248 pp.

Ashton, R.E., Jr., and P.S. Ashton. 1991. Handbook of Reptiles and Amphibians of Florida. Part Two. Lizards, Turtles & Crocodilians. Revised Second Edition. Windward Publishing, Inc., Miami. 191 pp.

Barbour, T., and C. T. Ramsden. 1919. The herpetology of Cuba. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy at Harvard College 47(2):71-213, plates 1-15.

Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A Field Guide to Florida Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston. 280 pp.

Behler, J. L. 1999. National Audubon Society First Field Guide. Reptiles. Scholastic, Inc., New York. 160 pp.

Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 743 pp.

Campbell, J. A. 1998. Amphibians and Reptiles of Northern Guatemala, the Yucatán, and Belize. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma. 380 pp

Carmichael, P., and W. Williams. 1991. Florida's Fabulous Reptiles and Amphibians. World Publications, Tampa. 120 pp.

Carr, A. 1973. The Everglades. Time-Life Books, [New York]. 184 pp.

Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1998. A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians. Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition, Expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 616 pp.

(Video) Saving The American Crocodile From Poachers | Changing Seas | Real Wild

Crombie, R. I. 1999. Jamaica. Pp. 63-92. In: B. I. Crother (editor). Caribbean Amphibians and Reptiles. Academic Press, San Diego. 495 pp.

Crother, B.I. (chair). Committee on Standard and English and Scientific Names. 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular. No. 37. iii + 86p.

Duellman, W. E., and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological Sciences 3(5):181-324.

Ernst, C. H., F. D. Ross, and C. A. Ross. 1999. Crocodylus acutus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (700):1-17.

Estrada, A. R., and R. Ruibal. 1999. A review of Cuban herpetology. Pp. 31-62. In: B. I. Crother (editor). Caribbean Amphibians and Reptiles. Academic Press, San Diego. 495 pp.

Flores-Villela, O. 1993. Herpetofauna Mexicana. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication (17):i-iv, 1-73.

Gaby, R., M. P. McMahon, F. J. Mazzotti, W. N. Gillies, and J. R. Wilcox. 1985. Ecology of a population of Crocodylus acutus at a power plant site in Florida. Journal of Herpetology 19(2):189-198.

Grenard, S. 1991. Handbook of Alligators and Crocodiles. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. 210 pp.

Groombridge, B. 1987. The distribution and status of world crocodilians. Pp. 9-21. In: G. J. W. Webb, S. C. Manolis, and P. J. Whitehead (editors). Wildlife Management: Crocodiles and Alligators. Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Limited, Chipping Norton, Australia. 552 pp.

Guggisberg, C. A. W. 1972. Crocodiles. Their Natural History, Folklore and Conservation. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 204 pp.

Hirschhorn, H. H. 1986. Crocodilians of Florida and the Tropical Americas. The Phoenix Publishing Company, Miami. 64 pp. + errata.

Kaiser, H., E. J. R. Sihotang, K. M. Marson, K. M. Crane, J. Dayov, and L. L. Grismer. 2001. A breeding population of American crocodiles, Crocodylus acutus, on Roatán, Islas de la Bahía, Honduras. Herpetological Review 32(2):164-165.

King, [F.] W. 1989. Crocodylus acutus (Cuvier 1807). P. 8. In: F. W. King and R. L. Burke (editors). Crocodilian, Tuatara, and Turtle Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. The Association of Systematics Collections, Washington, DC. 216 pp.

King, F. W. 2000. Florida Museum of Natural History's Checklist of Florida Amphibians and Reptiles [online]. Available on URL: Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Kraus, F. 2009. Alien reptiles and amphibians: a scientific compendium and analysis. Springer Science, New York, 563 p.

Kushlan, J. A., and F. J. Mazzotti. 1989a. Historic and present distribution of the American crocodile in Florida. Journal of Herpetology 23(1):1-7.

Kushlan, J. A., and F. J. Mazzotti. 1989b. Population biology of the American crocodile. Journal of Herpetology 23(1):7-21.

(Video) Living with American Crocodiles

Lamar, W. W. 1997. The World's Most Spectacular Reptiles & Amphibians. World Publications, Tampa. 210 pp.

Lang, J. W. 1989. Social behavior. Pp. 102-117. In: C. A. Ross (consulting editor). Crocodiles and Alligators. Facts on File, Inc., New York. 240 pp.

Lazell, J. D., Jr. 1989. Wildlife of the Florida Keys: A Natural History. Island Press, Washington, D.C. 250 pp.

Levell, J. P. 1997. A Field Guide to Reptiles and the Law. Second Revised Edition. Serpent's Tale Natural History Book Distributors, Lanesboro, Minnesota. 270 pp.

Lever, C., 2003, Naturalized reptiles and amphibians of the world: New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 318 p.

Liner, E. A. 1994. Scientific and common names for the amphibians and reptiles of Mexico in English and Spanish. Nombres científicos y comunes en Ingles y Españole de los anfibios y los reptiles de México. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular (23):i-vi, 1-113.

Meshaka, W. E., Jr., W. F. Loftus, and T. Steiner. 2000. The herpetofauna of Everglades National Park. Florida Scientist 63(2):84-103.

Mitchell, J. C. 1994. The Reptiles of Virginia. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London. 352 pp.

Moler, P [E.]. 1988. A Checklist of Florida's Amphibians and Reptiles. Nongame Wildlife Program, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee. 18 pp.

Moler, P. E. 1992. American crocodile. Crocodylus acutus Cuvier. Pp. 83-89. In: P. E. Moler (editor). Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume III. Amphibians and Reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. 292 pp.

Murphy, J. C. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of Trinidad and Tobago. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. 245 pp.

Neill, W. T. 1971. The Last of the Ruling Reptiles: Alligators, Crocodiles, and Their Kin. Columbia University Press, New York and London. 486 pp.

Powell, R., J. T. Collins, and E. D. Hooper, Jr. 1998. A Key to Amphibians & Reptiles of the Continental United States and Canada. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. 131 pp.

Powell, R., R. W. Henderson, K. Adler, and H. A. Dundee. 1996. An annotated checklist of West Indian amphibians and reptiles. Pp. 51-91, plates 1-8. In: R. Powell and R. W. Henderson (editors). Contributions to West Indian Herpetology. A Tribute to Albert Schwartz. Contributions to Herpetology 12. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca. 475 pp.

Powell, R., J. A. Ottenwalder, and S. J. Incháustegui. 1999. The Hispaniolan herpetofauna: Diversity, endemism, and historical perspectives, with comments on Navassa Island. Pp. 93-168. In: B. I. Crother (editor). Caribbean Amphibians and Reptiles. Academic Press, San Diego. 495 pp.

Reese, A. M. 1915. The Alligator and Its Allies. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London. 358 pp.

Ross, C. A., and W. E. Magnusson. 1989. Living crocodilians. Pp. 58-73. In: C. A. Ross (consulting editor). Crocodiles and Alligators. Facts on File, Inc., New York. 240 pp.

(Video) Rare American Crocodile Sighting in Central FL, Tracking Device Lost

Schwartz, A., and R. W. Henderson. 1985. A Guide to the Identification of the Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies Exclusive of Hispaniola. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee. 165 pp.

Schwartz, A., and R. W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville. 720 pp.

Smith, H. M., and E. D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. A Guide to Field Identification. Reptiles of North America. Golden Press, New York. 240 pp.

Smith, H. M., and R. B. Smith. 1976. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico. Volume III. Source Analysis and Index for Mexican Reptiles. John Johnson, North Bennington, Vermont. 23 pp., Am-T, App-102, Cor-4.

Smith, H. M., and R. B. Smith. 1977. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico. Volume V. Guide to Mexican Amphisbaenians and Crocodilians. Bibliographic Addendum II. John Johnson, North Bennington, Vermont. 191 pp.

Smith, H. M., and R. B. Smith. 1993. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico. Volume VII. Bibliographic Addendum IV and Index, Bibliographic Addenda II-IV, 1979-1991. University Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado. 1082 pp.

Stevenson, H. S. 1976. Vertebrates of Florida. Identification and Distribution. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville. 607 pp.

Webb, G. J. W., S. C. Manolis, and P. J. Whitehead (editors). 1987. Wildlife Management: Crocodiles and Alligators. Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Limited, Chipping Norton, Australia. 552 pp.

Author: Louis A. Somma, Pam Fuller, and Ann Foster

Revision Date: 5/17/2019 Citation Information:
Louis A. Somma, Pam Fuller, and Ann Foster, 2023, Crocodylus acutus Cuvier, 1807: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 5/17/2019, Access Date: 6/2/2023

American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) - Species Profile (11)

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.



What is the ecology of the American crocodile Crocodylus acutus? ›

Ecology and Natural History

acutus consists largely of brackish water coastal habitats such as the saltwater sections of rivers, coastal lagoons, and mangrove swamps. However, populations are known from freshwater areas located well inland, including a number of reservoirs.

What is the status of Crocodylus acutus? ›

The American crocodile is protected as a Threatened species by the Federal Endangered Species Act and as a Federally-designated Threatened species by Florida's Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.

What is unique about the American crocodile? ›

Fast Facts. The American crocodile has a large lizard-like body with four short legs and a long muscular tail. Their hides are rough and scaled. Juvenile American crocodiles are dark olive brown with darker cross-bands on tail and body, while adults are uniformly brown with darker cross-bands on tail.

Why are Crocodylus acutus endangered? ›

The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is primarily a coastal crocodilian that is at the northern end of its range in southern Florida. In Florida, habitat loss from human development has been the primary factor in this endangered species decline.

Why are Crocs important to the ecosystem? ›

Crocodiles have an important role in the environment. As adults they regulate the populations of other animals – stopping them from overcrowding and degrading ecosystems. Crocodiles also create habitats for other animals by burrowing and nest building.

What environment adaptations do crocodiles have? ›

As members of such a long-surviving group, alligators and crocodiles have multiple adaptations in their skin, including flaps that make their eyes and ears watertight when diving and armored scales that protect the skin and avoid water loss.

What is the most feared crocodile in the world? ›

Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

The species easily claims the title of the most-dangerous crocodilian, since it is widely thought to be responsible for more than 300 attacks on people per year.

Is the American crocodile endangered or threatened? ›

What is the strongest extinct crocodile? ›

Deinosuchus (/ˌdaɪnəˈsjuːkəs/) is an extinct genus of alligatoroid crocodilian, related to modern alligators and caimans, that lived 82 to 73 million years ago (Ma), during the late Cretaceous period.

What state has the most crocodiles? ›

Louisiana and Florida have the largest alligator populations—there are more than one million wild alligators in each state. Although alligators can be found in ponds, lakes, canals, rivers, swamps, and bayous in Louisiana, they are most common in our coastal marshes.

How many American crocodiles are left? ›

Listed as an endangered species in 1975, crocodile numbers have since recovered from a few hundred individuals to as many as 2,000 adult crocodiles today.

What is the difference between a saltwater crocodile and an American crocodile? ›

While they're slightly smaller, the American alligator has more teeth in its massive mouth, usually around 80 compared to the saltwater crocodile, who tends to have less than 70. Despite having more teeth, the alligator's snout is smaller than the crocodile's.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Crocs? ›

The bottom line. Many people enjoy wearing Crocs. They're lightweight, comfortable, and roomy, which makes them ideal for a range of activities. On the other hand, their lack of arch support can cause issues like plantar fasciitis, while their plastic construction may give you sweaty, smelly feet.

Are Crocs harmful to the environment? ›

For crocs, they are made of a foam resin material known as Croslite. The Croslite is made of chemicals that contain elements of plastic which as we have explained above, is harmful to the environment. This material is what prevents the recycling of crocs in your local recycling station.

What climate do crocodiles prefer? ›

Crocodiles live in tropical climates. Crocodiles like to live in tropical places such as the jungles of Papua New Guinea, or the marshes near the Nile river. Tropical climates are very warm and humid all year, which are perfect for crocodiles!

Can crocodiles survive without water? ›

Crocodiles can live for 2 years without food or water.

What is the most friendly crocodile? ›

Pocho (around 1950–1960 – 12 October 2011) was a Costa Rican crocodile who gained international attention for his relationship of over 20 years with Gilberto "Chito" Shedden, a local fisherman who found Pocho dying on the banks of the Reventazón River and nursed him back to health.

Who is the biggest enemy of crocodile? ›

American alligators and their cousins, the caiman, and crocodiles are fierce hunters. But despite their size and strength, there are animals that do prey on them. Man appears to be their biggest predator. Big cats like leopards and panthers sometimes kill and eat these big reptiles.

What is stronger than a crocodile? ›

Bears have better senses than crocodiles, and they are stronger overall than crocodiles. Also, bears are faster on land than crocodiles. Both creatures rely on their bites to finish off enemies. Of course, their bodies are very different as well.

Does Florida have a crocodile problem? ›

Due to the American crocodile's shy and reclusive nature, conflicts between them and people are extremely rare in Florida.

How many crocodile attacks in usa? ›

The commission has kept a record of “unprovoked bite incidents” since 1948 and reports that, between that date and November 2021, there were only 442. Only 26 of those resulted in human fatalities.

How many crocodile attacks per year in America? ›

There have not been any reported crocodile attacks in the US, but there have been alligator attacks, one of the species of crocodiles. In the United States, there have been 376 alligator attacks between 1948-2004 (56-year period) which average out to 6.7 attacks per year.

What is the most intelligent crocodile? ›

Some species of crocodiles also exhibit very advanced behaviors. One of such is the Australian freshwater crocodile. The reptile in question can scale trees – a pretty advanced behavior for such an animal.

Is A crocodile stronger than a gorilla? ›

A crocodile would win a fight against a gorilla. Most of the fights would begin in or near water, and a gorilla doesn't stand a chance in that scenario. If a crocodile bit and dragged the gorilla into the water, then it's a simple victory.

What crocodile has killed the most humans? ›

Since a majority of fatal attacks are believed to be predatory in nature, the Nile crocodile can be considered the most prolific predator of humans among wild animals.

How many hearts do crocodiles have? ›

Most reptiles have two atria and one ventricle. The only exceptions are the 23 living species of crocodilians (alligators, caimans, crocodiles and gharials) who, like birds and mammals, have four-chambered hearts with two atria and two ventricles (Jones, 1996; Jensen et al., 2014).

Why are crocodiles smart? ›

Crocodiles possess some advanced cognitive abilities. They can observe and use patterns of prey behaviour, such as when prey come to the river to drink at the same time each day. Vladimir Dinets of the University of Tennessee, observed that crocodiles use twigs as bait for birds looking for nesting material.

Did crocodiles exist with dinosaurs? ›


Well, crocodiles share a heritage with dinosaurs as part of a group known as archosaurs (“ruling reptiles”), who date back to the Early Triassic period (250 million years ago). The earliest crocodilian, meanwhile, evolved around 95 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period.

What is the loudest reptile in the world? ›

The Loudest Reptiles in the World

Alligators are also considered to be the loudest reptiles and can hit a 90-decibel bellow. In comparison, humans max out at about 70-decibel. They make loud grunts all year round, but these are more emphasized during mating season, which typically takes place in May and June.

What state has the 2nd most alligators? ›

The second most alligator-infested state in the U.S. in Florida. Like Louisiana, Florida has a massive area of swampland (the Everglades), and the year-round sun makes for ideal conditions for the gators.

What are 2 fun facts about alligators? ›

Alligator Fun Facts
  • Alligators cannot digest salt, therefore they can only live in fresh water environments, like ponds, marshes, wetlands, and swamps.
  • Male alligators can grow up to 15 feet, and female alligators can grow up to 9 feet.
Dec 8, 2022

What is the most interesting crocodile fact? ›

The mighty crocodile is one of the oldest living reptiles on the planet. They first appeared in the same time dinosaurs roamed the earth, dating back to almost 240 million years. This fact alone makes the crocodiles one of the ancient ancestors of the animal kingdom today.

What is a crocodiles biggest threat? ›

Once hunted intensively for their hides, today, loss of habitat to human development, illegal killing and roadkill are the greatest threats faced by alligators and crocodiles.

What is the most crocodile infested waters? ›

Tarcoles River - highest populations of crocodiles in world - 25 crocs per square kilometer - Picture of Jose's Crocodile River Tour, Tarcoles - Tripadvisor.

What state has the most crocodile attacks? ›

The state of Florida, where most attacks and deaths occur, began keeping records of alligator attacks in 1948.

What lake has the most crocodiles? ›

The majority of alligator-infested lakes are in Florida, with Lake Jesup being the most infested lake in the United States. This lake in central Florida is home to an estimated 13,000 alligators.

Could crocodiles survive in Florida? ›

Are there crocodiles in Florida? Yes. The southern tip of Florida is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live in the same place. Alligators are smaller, darker, and have a rounder, flatter snout while crocodiles are larger, lighter in color, and have a long narrow snout.

Where are most crocodiles found in the US? ›

American crocodiles occur in South Florida and also can be found in Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica, along the Caribbean coast from southern Mexico to Venezuela, and along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Peru. The northern end of the crocodile's range is in South Florida.

How aggressive are American crocodiles? ›

Australian saltwater crocodiles are generally considered the most dangerous in the world, followed by Nile crocodiles. American crocodiles, on the other hand, are one of the more timid types that you will find and rarely attack humans.

Who would win a hippo or crocodile? ›

A hippo would win a fight against a crocodile. Although crocodiles are large, powerful creatures, they cannot kill a fully-grown hippo. Hippos are large, round animals that are much taller than crocodiles. The only place they would be vulnerable to attack is their legs.

Who would win in a fight between an American crocodile and an American alligator? ›

Of the two reptiles, the crocodile would win in a face to face combat. Although the alligator is faster, here are the reasons why the crocodile would win: Crocodiles are usually bigger and heavier. Crocs have a more lethal bite due to their size and strength.

Would a saltwater crocodile beat a great white shark? ›

A great white shark would win a fight against a saltwater crocodile. These deadly creatures are incredibly powerful, but the great white shark has an amazing advantage in the water. Not only would this animal probably notice the crocodile first, but it also has the speed to land a devastating attack.

What is the ecology of alligators? ›

Ecologically, alligators are important predators and create important habitat for other wildlife by digging holes that hold water during droughts. Range and habitat: Alligators occur on the Atlantic Coast of North America from Florida through coastal North Carolina, and along the Gulf Coast into Texas.

What is the ecological relationship of crocodile and bird? ›

Mutualism occurs when both species benefit from the interaction. Crocodiles have a mutualistic relationship with plover birds. Plover birds will eat leftover food from between the crocodile's teeth, giving the bird a free meal and the crocodile a trip to the dentist.

What is the Cuban crocodile common ecosystem? ›

They are found only in Cuba's Zapata Swamp in the southwest and Lanier Swamp on Isla de Juventud. Their historical range also included the Cayman and Bahaman islands. Cuban crocodiles prefer freshwater marshes and swamps similar to those of the Everglades. They rarely swim in saltwater.

What is alligator ecosystem? ›

Alligators tend to be in freshwater. However, they occasionally move into brackish water, where saltwater and freshwater mix like where rivers lead out to oceans. These “commuting” alligators tie together two different marine areas.

Why is the American alligator important to the ecosystem? ›

Sitting at the top of the food chain, alligators are apex predators and help keep other animal populations in balance. By digging holes and leaving trails throughout marshes, they create habitats for fish and marine invertebrates. Alligators also help protect birds.

What would happen if alligators were removed from the ecosystem? ›

As alligators move from gator holes to nesting mounds, they help keep areas of open water free of invading vegetation. Without these ecosystem services, freshwater ponds and shrubs and trees would fill in coastal wetlands in the alligator's habitat, and dozens of species would disappear.

What are alligators most afraid of? ›

Alligators have a natural fear of humans, and usually begin a quick retreat when approached by people. If you have a close encounter with an alligator a few yards away, back away slowly. It is extremely rare for wild alligators to chase people, but they can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances on land.

What kind of relationship does the crocodile have with the organisms in its mouth? ›

The relationship between a Nile Crocodile and an Egyptian plover bird is one of nature's best examples of mutualism. When a croc needs a good flossing, he will simply open his mouth and wait. The plover bird will instinctively swoop in and pick tiny bits of meat from between the crocodile's teeth.

What is an example of commensalism in a crocodile? ›

The alligator gets its teeth cleaned by the bird. The bird gets its food from the alligators teeth. An example of commensalism is when a bird flies in an alligators mouth and gets food from the alligators mouth. The alligator then leaves its prey when its done and decomposers come and break down the animal.

What is the smartest crocodile? ›

rhombifer exhibits highly intelligent behaviour unusual for crocodilians.

Which habitat would be the best for a crocodile Why? ›

Habitat— All crocodiles have special glands in their tongues that can get rid of excess salt, so they tend to live in saltwater habitats such as mangrove swamps and estuaries. Alligators do not have these glands, so they prefer to live in freshwater habitats.

What is the habit and habitat of crocodile? ›

They are found in humid, tropical climates near bodies of water. Crocodiles have a salt gland in their tongue, which allows them to occupy saltwater habitats including estuaries, salt marshes, and mangrove swamps. They are opportunistic carnivores and have a diet of birds, crustaceans, mammals, insects, and frogs.

Is a alligator abiotic or biotic? ›

An example of a biotic factor would be the American Alligator.

What are alligators habitat adaptations? ›

Their back feet are webbed, meaning there is skin between their toes. This skin can help push the water while they are swimming, allowing them to move quickly through swampy waters. Alligators have long snouts and strong tails. These physical characteristics can help them dig burrows, which are tunnels underground.

What are alligators habitat characteristics? ›

The main components of a habitat are shelter, water, food, and space. A habitat is said to have a suitable arrangement when it has the correct amount of all of these.


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