American Crocodile

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American Crocodile
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Genus: Crocodylus
Species: C. acutus

The American Crocodile is a species of crocodile that lives in the Americas, from the southern United States to northern South America. Its scientific name, Crocodylus acutus, means "Pointy-snouted crocodile", and refers to the shape of its snout. American Crocodiles feed mostly on fish, but large individuals occasionally prey on larger animals, such as deer. The crocodile will pretend it is a log, and hide beneath the surface of the water. When the deer comes down to the water to drink, it lunges out of the water, grabs the deer in its jaws, and pulls it underwater, where it drowns.

After the deer is dead, the crocodile will grab a piece of meat in its jaws and spin around in a "Death Roll". American Crocodiles are a somewhat aggressive crocodile species, and have been known to attack humans. Attacks on humans are very rare. However, attacks have started happening frequently in Mexico recently.

The American Crocodile's range in southern Florida overlaps with that of the closely related American Alligator. However, while the American Alligator's range stretches as far north as Virginia, the American Crocodile's range in the United States is confined to southern Florida. This is because alligators are much better at tolerating cold weather than crocodiles. The body temperature of alligators has been known to drop to 38 degrees Fahrenheit without any harm at all to the alligator. However, the American Crocodile is better at tolerating saltwater than the alligator. American Crocodiles have regularly been sighted 140 miles away from shore in the Caribbean Sea.