American crocodile with open mouth

American crocodile

American crocodiles are well adapted to life in both the fresh and salt water of Central America's tropical wetlands. With their whole body submerged, they wait patiently for fish, frogs or turtles to pass close enough to be grabbed and swallowed whole. After a noisy courtship, up to 60 eggs are laid in a nest, though few survive raids from thieves such as raccoons. American crocodiles shelter, hide and rest in a series of complex burrows. They do not have as much scaly armour as other crocodiles and will usually only become aggressive if they feel threatened.

Scientific name: Crocodylus acutus

Rank: Species

Common names:

Sharp-snouted alligator

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The American crocodile can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the American crocodile distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 1996

Classified by: IUCN 2.3