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American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)

Factoid:  American crocodiles can be distinguished from American alligators by their longer, more narrow snouts and by their lower teeth, which are visible even when the crocodile's mouth is closed.

Status:Endangered.

Population: There are approximately 500 to 1,200 American crocodiles in Florida.

Threats:Once hunted intensively for their hides, today poaching and the loss of habitat to human development are the greatest threats faced by American crocodiles.

Survival:Crocodiles can reach 50 to 60 years of age.

   American crocodiles have long, slender snouts, which distinguish them from their cousin the alligator. Also unlike the alligator, the fourth tooth on the bottom jaw of the American crocodile is visible when its mouth is closed. Adult crocodiles are 7 to 15 feet long and weigh 150 to 450 pounds.

   American crocodiles inhabit areas where fresh and salt waters mix, such as coastal wetlands and canals. They are found in southern Florida, the Caribbean, southern Mexico, and along the Central American coast south to Venezuela.

   Decidedly less aggressive than the infamous Nile and Australian crocodiles, American crocodiles are rarely seen by people. They eat a variety of crabs, fish, waterfowl, and small mammals.

National Parks: The American crocodile can be found in Biscayne National Park, FL, and Everglades National Park, FL.


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