Crocodylus acutus. By Ken Mayer.
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Meet the Alligator's Distant (but Local) Relative

 

 

Introduction  |  Distribution & Population  |  Ecology  |  Anatomy & Physiology  |  Diet & Digestion

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Images are by the author unless otherwise indicated.

SPECIES PROFILE. REVISED MAY 2017.

American crocodile basking.AMERICAN

CROCODILE

Crocodylus acutus

 

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Class: Reptilia

Superorder: Crocodylomorpha

Order: Crocodilia

Family: Crocodylidae

 

 

 

(Image: Georgiana Wingard, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)

CONSERVATION STATUS

International: Vulnerable

U.S.: Threatened

Florida: Threatened

 

 

The letter"T".he American Crocodile, also called the Florida Crocodile, is a 'cousin' of the American Alligator, sharing many bodily features, but rather distant genetically, having diverged in evolution from a common ancestor millions of years ago. This 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 acutus) 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, here.

 

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.

 

An American crocodile floats in a marsh.

 

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 crocodile that contrast it from the alligator. Note the narrow snout, irregularly arranged scales, and color.

 

 

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SUGGESTED ARTICLE CITATION: Dupont, Israel. 2008. Meet the alligator's distant (but local) relative: species profile of Crocodylus acutus. LivingAmongAlligators.com [ [insert date cited] ]; Rev. November 2016. Available from: http://www.croc journal.net/laa_crocodile.htm.



 

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