FWS Focus


A large lizard-shaped reptile, the crocodile closely resembles the alligator. Hatchlings are about 23 centimeters in length; adults may grow to 4.5 meters or larger. Florida crocodiles may be distinguished from alligators by their more slender build and their difference in snout shape. The crocodile's snout tapers forward from the eyes while the alligator's snout is untapered and rounded at the end. When the mouth is closed, the fourth tooth in the lower jaw is exposed in the crocodile but concealed in the alligator. The adult crocodile's diet includes fish, crabs, birds, turtles, snakes, and small mammals. The young feed chiefly on aquatic invertebrates and small fish. As a general rule crocodilians feed on any prey items which can be caught and overpowered.

Scientific Name

Crocodylus acutus
Common Name
American Crocodile
Central American Alligator
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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