The American crocodile inhabits brackish waters of mangroves and swamp habitats.
Did you know?
American Crocodiles often bask with their mouths open, which looks like aggressive behavior, however it helps them to regulate their body temperature.
Crocodiles can commonly be seen with a bird called an Egyptian plover in their mouths. The bird is eating the crocodile’s left-over food and helping to prevent infections from decaying food. Here both the bird and crocodile benefit creating a mutualistic relationship.
The phrase “crocodile tears” comes from the notion that crocodiles cry while eating, when in fact they are lubricating their eyes, preventing them from drying out.
Form & Function
These large reptiles can reach lengths of up to 20 feet. American crocodiles are mottled with green, gray, brown, and black colors. They are distinguished from alligators by their narrow snout and their teeth that are visible when the mouth is closed. Males are capable of producing vocalizations which they use to defend territories and attract females. Because they inhabit brackish waters, they have salt glands that allow them to remove excess salt that they pick up from their environment.
Conservation & YOu
Threatened (IUCN) Their main threats include habitat destruction and hunting. Many people believe they are invasive in the United States; however, the Florida everglades are they natural habitat and where they were born to live. You can help the American crocodile by promoting habitat protection and following your states laws and regulations for hunting.