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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)




American Crocodile | Crocodylus acutus photo
American Crocodile

Photograph by US Fish and Wildlife Service. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

AMERICAN CROCODILE FACTS

Description
The American Crocodile has four short and a long powerful tail. It has rows of bony scales running down its back and tail. Adults are olive brown. Juveniles are light tan with dark bands on the body and tail. It has a swelling in front of each eye. The iris is silvery. The nostrils, eyes, and ears are set on the top of the head. American crocodiles usually crawl on their belly, but are capable of moving with rapid bursts of speed. They are fast swimmers using their tail to propel them through the water.

Size
Length: males - 4m ; females - 3m. Weight: males 180 kg; females - 73 kg.

Environment
river mouths, brackish water, salt lakes, coastal waters

Food
American Crocodile eats mainly fish and aquatic animals. Diet includes birds, mammals, turtles, crabs, snails, frogs. Juveniles eat fish, insects and other invertebrates.

Breeding
The nest is usually in a hole, but where suitable site for holes is not available it will build a mound nest. The female lays between 30 and 60 eggs (average 38) and eggs hatch after about 90 days. Hatchlings are about 25cm long. The juveniles move away from the nest a few days of hatching.

Range
found along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of southern Mexico and in South America as far as Peru and Venezuela. Also found on Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. There is a small population on the southern tip of Florida.

Notes
The American Crocodile can be dangerous to humans. Attacks in Mexico and South America are quite common.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Crocodilia
Family:Crocodylidae
Genus:Crocodylus
Species:acutus
Common Name:American Crocodile


Relatives in same Genus
  Morelet's Crocodile (C. moreletii)