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American crocodile

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American crocodile
Temporal range: Pleistocene–Recent, 0.3–0 Ma
At the La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Genus: Crocodylus
C. acutus
Binomial name
Crocodylus acutus
Cuvier, 1807
Approximate terrestrial range (green)

The American crocodile is a species of crocodile that lives in the Americas.[2] They usually move from the southern United States to the northern South America. Its scientific name, Crocodylus acutus, means "Pointy-snouted crocodile". It is because of the shape of its snout.

Characteristics[change | change source]

Adult American crocodile

The American crocodile is a species of a crocodile with a high adult survival rate.[3] The American crocodiles can live for a long time. Like all crocodiles, the American crocodile has four short legs; a long, powerful tail; and scaly skin.

The nostrils, eyes, and ears are on the top of its head, so the rest of the body can be hidden underwater for surprise attacks[source?] Camouflage also helps it catch food. The snout is longer and narrower than that of the American alligator. American crocodiles are paler and more grayish than the dark-hued American alligator. The American crocodile crawls on its belly. It can also "high walk".[4] Big ones can run as fast as nearly 16 km/h (10 mph). They can swim at as fast as 32 km/h (20 mph).[5]

The average length for adult in the continental rivers can be 2.9 to 4 m (9 ft 6 in to 13 ft 1 in) long. Males weigh up to 382 kg (842 lb). Females can be 2.5 to 3 m (8 ft 2 in to 9 ft 10 in) and weigh up to 173 kg (381 lb).[6]

Biology and behavior[change | change source]

American crocodiles are more vulnerable to cold weather than American alligators. While an American crocodile cannot survive in water temperatures of 7.2 °C (45.0 °F) and below. American crocodiles will lose consciousness and drown due to hypothermia in that temperature. American crocodiles have a faster growth rate than alligators.[source?]

Feeding[change | change source]

American crocodiles feed mostly on fish, but big ones may prey on bigger animals, such as deer.

American crocodiles are a somewhat aggressive crocodile species and have been known to attack humans. Attacks on humans are rare, but happen more often in Mexico.

Distribution[change | change source]

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.[7][8][9]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Crocodylus acutus (American crocodile)". PBDB.
  2. Homestead, Mailing Address: 40001 State Road 9336; Us, FL 33034 Phone:242-7700 Contact. "American Crocodile: Species Profile - Everglades National Park (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2020-08-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. Gonzalez, Venetia (2017). "Life histories and conservation of long-lived reptiles, an illustration with the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)". Journal of Animal Ecology. 86 (5): 1102–1113. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12723. PMID 28657652. S2CID 3419329.
  4. Gregg, Gordon; Gans, Carl, In Beesley, Pamela L; Ross, Graham J B; Glasby, Christopher J (eds.) Fauna of Australia. Australian Government Publishing Service. (1993). Morphology & Physiology of the Crocodylia (PDF). ISBN 978-0-644-32429-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ""American Crocodile" Everglades. Miami Science Museum". Archived from the original on 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2020-08-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. "American Crocodile". National Geographic Society.
  7. "American Crocodile". Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  8. Ellis, T. M. (1981). "Tolerance of seawater by the American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus". Journal of Herpetology. 15 (2): 187–192. doi:10.2307/1563379. JSTOR 1563379.
  9. "American Crocodiles, American Crocodile Pictures, American Crocodile Facts – National Geographic". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2020-08-22.