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American Crocodile

Crocodylus acutus

Florida's Specialty

The American crocodile is one of the largest crocodilians in the world, but also one of the shyest. In the U.S., they can only be found in brackish waters of South Florida.

About the Species

South Florida is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators coexist in the wild.

The crocodile can be distinguished from the alligator by its longer and thinner snout, lighter color, and an exposed fourth tooth on the lower jaw when the mouth is closed. American crocodiles prefer to live in brackish water, and can do so as they excrete salt from a gland located near their tongue; but alligators prefer freshwater. South Florida is as far north as the American crocodile travels. They are also found in Central and South America, along with the Caribbean. This endangered species is threatened by hunting and habitat loss. While most countries have laws in place for their protection, many lack adequate enforcement. Additionally, data on the number of American crocodiles remaining outside of the United States is sometimes unavailable and inaccurate.

Words From the Experts


Did you know that Florida is the only place in the world where you can find both alligators and crocodiles naturally coexisting in the wild?



Did You Know?

The eyes, ears, and nostrils of a Crocodile are located on the top of their head, allowing them to be almost completely submerged underwater while still being aware of their surroundings.


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South Florida, Central America, northern South America

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Brackish water

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15 feet max. | 2,000 pounds

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Small mammals, birds, fish

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Raccoons and birds (eggs and young crocodiles)

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Natural Defenses

Size, strong bite and tail, good swimmers, camouflage

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30-50 eggs per clutch

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Life Expectancy

Up to 70 years

  • Saving reptiles and amphibians
  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums