American Crocodile

(Crocodylus acutus)


American Crocodile IUCN VULNERABLE (VU)


Facts about this animal

The American Crocodile has a comparatively long snout, about 2.5 times as long as broad at the level of the front corners of the eyes. It has an unpaired longitudinal swelling on the basis of the snout in front of the eyes and the surface of the upper eyelid is wrinkled. The colour of the upper body surface is light olive, also in old animals; in young ones with dark blotches and sprinkles. The lower surface is uniformly light, without dark blotches. The American Crocodile can grow up to a length of 7.7 m, but is usually about 3.8 m.

Did you know?
that there is a population of American crocodiles living in the brackish water cooling canals at the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in Florida?


Name (Scientific) Crocodylus acutus
Name (English) American Crocodile
Name (French) Crocodile américain
Name (German) Spitzkrokodil
Name (Spanish) Caimán americano
CITES Status Appendix I, except for population of Cuba in Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Thomás Castelazo



Range Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, United States, Venezuela
Habitat Found in both freshwater and brakish/saline lakes, coastal lagoons and mangrove swamps
Wild population Aprox. 10.000-20.000 in 2009 (Crocodilian 2012). . In big parts of its natural range C. acutus is still threatened in its existence but in other parts the populations have recovered due to conservation measures and systematic management. In southern Florida e. g. the status has been lowered from “endangered” to “threatened” in 2007.The population trend is increasing (Red List IUCN 2012).
Zoo population 46 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

American Crocodile


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 42 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Pierre Fidenci

Why do zoos keep this animal

As an inhabitant of brackish water it is a flagship species for its endangered natural habitat. However outside of its range C. acutus can only rarely be seen in zoos.