Amazing American Crocodile

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | May 7, 2010 | Comment Now

The American crocodile is viewed as an endangered species in most parts of Central, South, and North American ranges. Data based on surveys is extremely poor or lacking in countries other than the United States. Conservationists and researchers agree that widespread illegal hunting and habitat erosion has reduced the numbers of this reptile. The population of the American crocodile has now reached critical levels.

There is a small population of crocodiles that inhabit Southern Florida. However, most of them are found in Southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and the northern regions of South America. Their habitat includes fresh or brackish water found in river estuaries, mangrove swamps, and coastal lagoons.

The American crocodile resembles a creature from the prehistoric times. It can be distinguished from the American alligator, which is its distant cousin, by the snout. Its snout is longer and thinner. It is also lighter in color with two protruding, long teeth on its lower jaw. These teeth are visible when the mouth is shut closed.

Among all the crocodiles on the planet, the American crocodile is the largest species. The male crocodiles in Central and South America reach lengths of 20 feet. However, in the United States, the males seldom exceed 13 feet in length.

Their diet predominantly consists of small mammals, fish, crabs, birds, frogs, and snails. They occasionally feed on carrion. They sometimes attack humans. Often, they try to escape at the sight of humans.

Most countries in America have sanctioned laws for the protection of the species. However, the law enforcement is the cause for worry among most governments.

The American crocodile is considered to be an endangered species. The numbers have dwindled due to hide hunting, loss of habitat, and pollution. In addition, a large number of adults have been removed for commercial farming.

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