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Antigua and Barbuda

15 January 2020

The American Crocodile

Antigua & Barbuda: The American Crocodile, 15 January 2020. Images from IGPC.

Technical Specifications:

Country: Antigua and Barbuda
Topic: Fauna and Flora, Marine Life, Reptiles
Item Number: ANT1916SH
Scott Number:
Date of Issue: 15-Jan-20
Perforated: $8.14
Cancelled Stamps or Sheet: $9.14
Imperforated: $32.56

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, with populations present from South Florida and the coasts of Mexico to as far south as Peru and Venezuela.

The habitat of the American crocodile consists largely of coastal areas. It is also found in river systems, but tends to prefer salinity, resulting in the species congregating in brackish lakes, mangrove swamps, lagoons, cays, and small islands. Other crocodiles also have tolerance to saltwater due to salt glands underneath the tongue, but the American crocodile is the only species other than the saltwater crocodile to commonly live and thrive in saltwater. They can be found on beaches and small island formations without any freshwater source, such as many cays and islets across the Caribbean. They are also found in hypersaline lakes; one of the largest known populations inhabits the Lago Enriquillo.

The American is one of the larger crocodile species. Males can reach lengths of 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in), weighing up to 907 kg (2,000 lb). On average, mature males are more in the range of 2.9 to 4.1 m (9 ft 6 in to 13 ft 5 in) in length weighing up to about 400 kg (880 lb). As with other crocodile species, females are smaller, rarely exceeding 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in) in length even in the largest-bodied population.

Like any other large crocodilian, the American crocodile is potentially dangerous to humans, though it tends not to be as aggressive as some other species.

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