Information on Crocodiles Page 1


Crocodile Information


Types and Origins
There are four types of crocodilians: Crocodiles, alligators, caiman, and alligators.

Alligators have a broad, rounded, shovel-like snout.

Gharial’s snout is long and narrow.

Caiman and Crocodiles have tapered snouts with moderate width.

Crocodiles are survivors of a time known as the Age of Reptiles dating from 265 million years ago - 66 million years ago. At the end of the Triassic period (210 million years ago) a small reptile called Terrestrisuchus lived.  It is thought to be the direct ancestor of our modern-day crocodiles (both have unique reptilian ankle joints). The Terrestrisuchus, as it name implies, was primarily a land-dwelling reptile.

Subdivisions of the crocodile are the American Crocodile, the Nile Crocodile, saltwater crocodile, and horny crocodile.

Crorodylus acutus

Because it has the largest range of the four New World crocodiles, Crorodylus acutus, is perhaps the best known. In North America, its range is restricted to the regions of the Florida Keys, although it goes up fresh water canals around the Everglades. It is found on the islands in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru. A distinguishing feature of all the crocodiles is that the fourth tooth, on either side of the lower jaw, is so long it protrudes through holes in the upper jaw. The American crocodile also can be distinguished from all other crocodiles because it has less bumpy osteoderms on its back. It is rare to find any specimens of this crocodile today that measure over 4 metres (13 1/2 feet) in length. 

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