Beauty Of Animal | The Beauty American Crocodile | The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is a species of crocodilian found in the Neotropics. It is the most widespread of the four extant species of crocodiles from the Americas. Populations occur from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of southern Mexico to South America as far as Peru and Venezuela. It also lives within many river systems on Cuba, Jamaica, and Hispaniola. Within the United States the American crocodile is only found within the southern half of Florida. In Florida, there is an estimated population of about 2000. Despite its proximity to Hispaniola, the American crocodile is not found in Puerto Rico. The habitat of the American crocodile consists largely of coastal areas. The American crocodile is larger than some other crocodile species, with some males reaching lengths of 6.1 metres (20 ft) in Central and South America.
Like all crocodilians, the American crocodile is a quadruped, with four short, splayed legs; a long, powerful tail; a scaly hide with rows of ossified scutes running down its back and tail. The snout is elongated and includes a strong pair of jaws. The eyes have nictitating membranes for protection along with lachrymal glands, which produce tears. The nostrils, eyes, and ears are situated on the top of its head, so the rest of the body can be concealed underwater for surprise attacks. Camouflage also helps them prey on food. American crocodiles normally crawl on their belly, but they can also "high walk". Larger specimens can charge up to 10 miles per hour (16 km/h). They can swim at as much as 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) by moving their body and tail in a sinuous fashion, but they cannot sustain this speed.
American crocodiles are more susceptible to cold than American alligators. Unlike the American alligator which can subsist in water of 7.2 °C (45.0 °F) for some time, an American crocodile would become helpless and drown. American crocodiles, however, have a faster growth rate than alligators, and are much more tolerant of salt water. Unlike the Old World crocodiles which are sometimes cleared of parasites by birds, the American crocodile relies more on fish for parasite removal. Newborn hatchlings are about 22 centimetres (8.7 in) in size and about 60 grams (2 oz) in mass. The average adult is 4 metres (13 ft) long and weighs 382 kilograms (840 lb) in males, and 3 metres (9.8 ft) and 173 kilograms (380 lb) in females.
In the Tárcoles River in Costa Rica there are dozens of 4-meter and a few 5-meter individuals that frequent bridge crossings (where they are fed daily, which may have helped them reach such consistently large sizes) and are a popular tourist attraction. In the United States adult length has been recorded as high as 4.9 metres (16 ft). This species is said to grow largest in the South American river basins, but even old males rarely reach 6 metres (20 ft). A skull of this species was found to measure 72.6 centimetres (28.6 in) and is estimated to have belonged to a crocodile of 6.6 metres (22 ft) in length. Large, mature males regularly weigh about 400-500 kg (880-1100 lb), with the 6 meter+ individuals surpassing 1000 kg (2,200 lb). The longest American crocodile ever actually measured from snout to tail is a 17 feet (5.2 m) male living within the Tarcoles River of Costa Rica.
American crocodile prey can range in size from the insects taken by young crocodiles to cattle taken by large adults and includes birds, mammals, fish, turtles, crabs, snails, frogs, and occasionally carrion. Full grown adult males of this species have no natural predators and are capable of preying on virtually any animal unfortunate enough to be at the waters edge, although even at immense sizes fish still make up the vast majority of the crocodile's diet.
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