American Crocodile facts

American Crocodile facts

American Crocodile facts # 1
The American crocodile grows faster than the American alligators and is much more tolerant of salt water.

American Crocodile facts # 2
Many people believe that the American crocodile could be found in a much larger part of the United States a few centuries back, but the truth is that this species has been limited to southern Florida throughout recorded history. The American crocodile is less cold tolerant than the American alligators and can not move into northern Florida and similar environments since the winters there can be comparatively harsh and much colder than what this crocodile is used to from the tropics. When alligators are subjected to low temperatures they hibernate, but the American crocodile can not do this and will die if the temperature drops below 15° C (60° F) for any longer period of time. The American alligator can also subsist in waters where the low temperature would immediately render the American crocodile immobile, causing it to drown.

Warm summer temperatures can make American crocodiles proceed northwards and they have for instance been sighted in Sarasota County and Palm Beach County in Florida, and in 2008 a specimen was found in the surf of Isle of Palms in South Carolina. 

American Crocodile facts # 3
The name Crocodylus acutus is a reference to the shape of the snout. In Latin, acutus means sharp or pointed.

The names Crocodile and Crocodylus are derived from the Greek word krokodeilos which literally translates into “pepple worm” or “pepple man”. Kroko means pebble in Greek while deilos can denote both worm and man. The name is a reference to the rows of ossified scutes that cover the body of a crocodile.

American Crocodile facts # 4
American crocodiles living in saltwater environments chiefly cope with all the salt by drinking available freshwater.

American Crocodile facts # 5
Compared to Old World crocodiles the American crocodile is considered less interested in attacking humans, but it is still a dangerous species that should only be approached by trained personnel. Crocodile attacks occur now and then in South- and Central America, but they rarely gain any international media attention. No attacks on humans by the American crocodile have been confirmed in the United States.

American Crocodile facts # 6
One of the most unusual habitats colonized by the American crocodile is perhaps the brackish water cooling canals used by the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in Florida, U.S.

American Crocodile facts # 7
Old World crocodiles, e.g. the infamous Nile crocodile, are known to enlist the aid of birds to rid them of parasites. The American crocodile on the other hand prefers to use fish for this purpose.

American Crocodile facts # 8
One of the largest documented populations of American crocodiles is found in Lago Enriquillo. This is a landlocked, hyper-saline lake located in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola.

American Crocodile facts # 9
Cuvier originally described the American crocodile as Crocodylus acutus in 1807, but over time it gained the common name Sharp-snout alligator despite not being an alligator.    

American Crocodile facts # 10
In the United States, American crocodiles are found in southern Florida; chiefly in the Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay, Florida Bay, and the Florida Keys from Miami southward. No one knows exactly how large the population is and estimations vary from 500 to 1,200 specimens. In the U.S., the American crocodile is known to share habitat with the American alligator.  


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