The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is a species of crocodilian found in the Neotropics. It is the most widespread of the four extant species of crocodiles from the Americas. Populations occur from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of southern Mexico to South America as far as Peru and Venezuela. It also lives within many river systems on Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. Within the United States the American crocodile is only found within the southern half of Florida. In Florida, there is an estimated population of about 2000. Despite its proximity to Hispaniola, the American crocodile is not found in Puerto Rico. The habitat of the American crocodile consists largely of coastal areas.
Ten Facts about American Crocodile
- The American crocodile grows faster than the American alligators and is much more tolerant of salt water.
- The name Crocodylus acutus is a reference to the shape of the snout. In Latin, acutus means sharp or pointed.
- American crocodiles living in saltwater environments chiefly cope with all the salt by drinking available freshwater.
- An American crocodile's diet consists mainly of small fish, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and mammals.
- There are more than 1,000 American crocodiles, not including hatchlings, in Florida.
- American crocodiles are found in southern Florida, the Caribbean, southern Mexico and along the Central American coast south to Venezuela.
- There Mating season is January & February, & gestation 2-3 month egg incubation
- In April or May, the female crocodile will build a nest of loose dirt in a mound by the water's edge and lay her eggs.
- She buries the eggs and fiercely guards her nest. When the eggs hatch in July or early August, the female helps carry her young to the water.
- American crocodiles are shy, reclusive and rarely seen by people.