Taxonomy, Phylogeny & Etymology |
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Images are by the author unless otherwise indicated.
SPECIES PROFILE. REVISED DECEMBER 2017.
(Image: Georgiana Wingard, U.S.
Geological Survey. Public domain.)
American Crocodile, also called the Florida Crocodile, is a 'cousin' of the American Alligator.
As crocodyliformes, the reptile relatives share many
anatomical and physiological features, but are rather distant
genetically, having diverged in evolution from a common ancestor
millions of years ago. The American croc is the
only species of crocodilian that naturally shares habitat with a
member of the Alligator genus; together they inhabit
tropical and sub-tropical southern Florida.
The American crocodile
(scientific name: Crocodylus
is a reptile among the class
of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises and the lizard-like
Tuatara. It is one of about 26 crocodilians in the world, an
order which includes two alligators, one from North America,
another from China,
about 15 tropical
crocodiles scattered about the globe, six alligator-like caimans from
South America and the tropical slender-snouted gharial and Tomistoma
crocodiles. You may review a complete list,
This website is intended to focus on the American Alligator,
so this profile of the crocodile is not as extensive as that of
the alligator. You may find it helpful to refer to the alligator
section on "Thermoregulation"
to supplement this article, as crocodilians control their body
temperature in same way.
The American crocodile shown above, like its
relatives among the crocodilian order, can remain still for long
periods of time, yet are capable of startling bursts of
movement; this may be done for the purpose of evasion, siezure
of prey, or attack. The
photos above clearly demonstrate physical features of the
contrast it from the alligator.
the narrow snout, irregularly
arranged scales, and color.
on a link from the menu atop this page to navigate this article.
SUGGESTED ARTICLE CITATION: Dupont, Israel. 2008. Meet the
distant (but local) relative:
species profile of Crocodylus acutus.
LivingAmongAlligators.com [ [insert date cited] ]; Rev. December 2017.
Available from: http://www.croc journal.net/laa_crocodile.htm.