The American crocodile on an average grows up to a size of 12 feet in length, and the recorded size of these species has been noted around 23 feet. The males of these species are larger than the females. They weigh up to (220 to 450) kg. These creatures look like a lizard with very strong tail, legs and claws. They have a triangular snout, which is long and narrow in shape. Their eyes have an extra lid, which helps them to see underwater. Their ears, nostril and eyes are located on the same plane. These American crocodile have sharp and strong teeth, which get inter locked when they close their mouth, but the fourth tooth remain visible even after closing their mouth. These species are of olive-green or gray-green with darker markings. The juvenile of these species possess dark cross bands on their back as well on tail. And the belly is white or yellow in the adult.
Habitat and Behavior
The American crocodile can be found mainly in brackish and freshwater habitat. They can be seen Florida, Colombia, West Indies, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. These crocodiles are known to prefer salt water and thus can be also seen in saltwater marshes and swamps. In the summer they dig burrows and go inside the burrows in order to escape the heat in the summers. These crocodiles generally hunt at nights and they can be often seen resting in the water or sunbathing during day time.
The juvenile of these species feed on crabs, snails, small fish, frogs and insects. The adult of these species feed on crabs, mammals, fish and birds. They rest motionless in the water until their prey comes closer. When their prey comes closer they attack on the prey and grab it.
Reproduction / Breeding
The American crocodiles become mature at the age of (8 to 10) years or when they grow up to a size of (6 to 8) feet in length. Their breeding season is sometimes between January and May. The courtship in these species lasts for about two months. The female of these species lays around (20 to 30) eggs in the burrows made by them. The sizes of the eggs are around (24 to 31) inches. The female guards these eggs till they hatch. When the eggs hatch the female, take these hatchlings to the water. The female will not remain with the hatchlings further like the alligators.
The American crocodile is in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list of endangered species. The main reasons behind being in the endangered list are the loss of their habitat and hunting by human being.