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

 

 

Introduction  |  Taxonomy, Phylogeny & Etymology  |  Distribution & Population  |  Ecology

Anatomy & Physiology  |  Diet & Digestion  |  Reproduction  |  Survival  |  Human Conflict

Cultural & Commercial Impact  |  Suggested Publications  |  References

 

 

SPECIES PROFILE

American crocodile basking.AMERICAN

CROCODILE

Crocodylus acutus

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Superorder: Crocodylomorpha

Order: Crocodilia

Family: Crocodylidae

 

 

 

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

 

 

Cultural & Commercial Impact

 

This crocodile is strictly protected by law, so the sale of specimens for use in the hide and meat industries is prohibited. Live specimens may be enjoyed at certain zoological facilities. (Interestingly, many of the specimens on exhibit in the state actually originate from Jamaica, and that croc species from the Caribbean, it has been suggested, while seemingly identical to the one in Florida, may be a different one from it).

 

The croc species is held at many zoos around the world, but it is observed Juvenile American crocodile.most satisfyingly in its natural enviroment at certain managed natural sites in Florida, namely Everglades National Park (especially in the Flamingo area), Biscayne National Park and J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, on the southwest coast near Fort Myers. If you travel to the Florida Keys, you may get to see one from your motor vehicle, as crovd are sometimes seen basking only a few meters from the road.

 

The American crocodile has not had the same kind of cultural bond with humankind as its local cousin. The Native Americans have dealt with the crocodles for centuries, but not as much as with the alligator, as the latter has a much more desirable hide, and probably because the crocodile's lesser number and almost enigmatic presence.

 

The image above shows a captured juvenile croc.

(Image: Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

 

The crocodiles have been featured in the Florida wildlife-based tourism industry, which is dominated by its alligator cousin. The now-defunct Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs had at one time what may have been one of the largest groups of American crocodiles in the world.

 

An American crocodile at old Gatorland in St. Augustine, Florida.

 

This vintage photograph, ca. 1950's, shows an exhibited American crocodile at a long-gone roadside attraction in St. Augustine, Florida. (Image: Public domain)

 

 

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