Meet the Alligator’s Distant (but Local) Relative

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SPECIES PROFILE. REVISED FEBRUARY 2015.

 

AMERICAN CROCODILE

 

Crocodylus acutus

 

Kingdom: Animalia

 

Class: Reptilia

 

Superorder: Crocodylomorpha

 

Order: Crocodilia

 

Family: Crocodylidae

 

CONSERVATION STATUS

 

International: Vulnerable

 

U.S.: Threatened

 

Florida: Threatened

 

The image above clearly demonstrates physical features of the crocodile that contrast it from the alligator. Note the narrow snout, irregularly arranged scales, and color.

 

The American Crocodile, also called the Florida Crocodile (Scientific name: Crocodylus acutus), is a distant ‘cousin’ of the American Alligator, sharing many bodily features, but rather distant genetically, having diverged in evolution from a common ancestor millions of years ago. This croc is the only species of crocodilian that naturally shares habitat with a member of the Alligator genus; together they inhabit tropical and sub-tropical southern Florida.

 

This website is intended to focus on the American Alligator, so this profile of the crocodile is not as extensive as that on the alligator, and will concentrate on the basic points of this species.

 

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