american crocodile

Scientific name Crocodylus acutus
Descriptor Cuvier
Year of description 1807
IUCN category VU
Family Crocodylidae
Genus Crocodylus
Crocodylus acutus Crocodylus acutus


Crocodylus acutus, commonly known as american crocodile, is a fresh water and brackish water reptile.

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Who is it?


  • Female size
    300 - 400 cm
  • Male size
    450 - 550 cm
  • Weight
    350 - 450 kg
  • Mimicry
  • Longevity
    100 year
  • Female size
    300 - 400 cm
  • Male size
    450 - 550 cm
  • Weight
    350 - 450 kg
  • Mimicry
  • Longevity
    100 year

How to recognize the american crocodile ?

The american crocodile measures around 450 cm. The dominant males can however reach 550 cm. This reptile is unicolore with a predominantly marron body.

Sexual dimorphism

The adult male is bigger than the female.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • Sociability
  • Way of living
  • Venomous
  • Diet

This species is known to emit sounds easily audible by humans.

The american crocodile hunts in the stalk and is one of the predators of its biotope. Opportunistic, it does not hesitate to attack any smaller animal nearby.

The american crocodile is a reptile solitary naturally found in the vegetation. This species is carnivorous . This reptile lives mainly at night. Usually, it leaves its hiding place and starts to be active once it gets dark.

The american crocodile is a territorial animal that does not tolerate any incursions into its living area. It is particularly virulent against other territorial species and it can provoke heated fights. In a constant quest for dominance, the dominant males of this species cannot stand each other. The battle between two individuals can be intense and violent. It will result in the submission and sometimes even death of one of the protagonists.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui enfouit ses œufs
  • Clutch size
    30 - 60 eggs

The american crocodile is a reptile ovipare qui enfouit ses œufs. This reptile protects its eggs from nearby predators.

Life-threatening species

  • Venomous
  • Bite

This species can attack if it feels threatened. It is important to be particularly vigilant especially during dives or fishing sessions. In the most serious cases, it can cause death.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    18 - 35 °C
  • Flow
    Slow and Stagnant

Biotope presentation

The acidification of water comes from the decomposition of plants. This phenomenon changes the color of the water, which tends to turn brown. In some areas particularly rich in organic matter, the water is so dark that it is called "black water".

The american crocodile is most often found at a depth between 0m and 3m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

Ataques de cocodrilo de río (Crocodylus acutus) en Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México: presentación de cinco casos - FG. Cupul-Magaña - A. Rubio-Delgado - C. Reyes-Núñez - E. Torres-Campos - LA. Solís-Pecero - Cuad Med Forense - 2010.

Life histories and conservation of long- lived reptiles, an illustration with the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) - Venetia Briggs-Gonzalez - Christophe Bonenfant - Mathieu Basille - Michael Cherkiss - Jeff Beauchamp - Frank Mazzotti - Journal of Animal Ecology - 2016.

POPULATION STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF CROCODYLUS ACUTUS AND C. MORELETII IN SOUTHEASTERN QUINTANA ROO, MÉXICO - J. Rogelio Cedeño-Vázquez - J. Perran Ross - Sophie Calmé - Herpetological Natural History - 2006.

Sustainable Use of American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus in Cispata, Colombia - Multiple - CITES - 2014.

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