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Where in the world are there crocodiles?

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Crocodiles and alligators look alike, and although they belong to the same order of crocodiles , they live in different places around the world. Crocodiles are distributed in Africa, Asia and Australia, and a few are distributed in North and South America. Alligators are found in North and South America. Let's take a look at where in the world these crocodiles live.

What is the Difference Between Crocodiles and Alligators?

crocodile vs crocodile
Alligators are smaller, darker and less aggressive than alligators.

© AZ-Animals.com

The order Crocodilians is divided into three families; Crocodylidae (crocodiles), Alligatoridae (crocodiles and caimans) and Gavialidae (gharial and false gharial). There are 8 different species of alligators, 1 species of Gavialidae and 14 species of crocodiles. The difference between them is that alligators are smaller (8-15 feet, 400-800 lbs) and have round, dark green or black snouts. Alligators are larger (up to 23 feet and 2,200 pounds), have a V-shaped snout, and are light green, brown, or gray in color. Gharials look distinctive, with long, thin noses and bulging eyes. There are only a few crocodiles left in Nepal and northern India.

Are there alligators in America?

Animals that can move: crocodiles
Alligators live in the United States, but can only be found in South Florida.

©iStock.com/Vladimir Bolokh

The only place in the United States where alligators can be found is in the southern tip of Florida. That's the northern end of their range. Crocodiles are cold blooded and need temperatures around 85-95°, which is why you'll find them in countries closer to the equator.

Fun fact: Florida is the only place in the world where you can find alligators and alligators in the same area.

Are there alligators in North America?

Besides the United States, you can also find crocodiles in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and the islands of Cuba and Jamaica.

  • American Alligator : Large, 13-16 feet long, freshwater, listed as Vulnerable.
  • Morelets Alligator : Medium size, 9 feet long, freshwater, listed as least of concern.
  • Cuban crocodile : One of the most endangered species, found only in a few places in Cuba, medium size, 10 feet long, freshwater.
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Are there crocodiles in South America?

You can only find crocodiles in northern South American countries like Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador.

  • American Alligator : Large, 13-16 feet long, freshwater, listed as Vulnerable .
  • Morelets Alligator : Medium size, 9 feet long, freshwater, listed as worry-free .
  • Orinico crocodile : Native to Colombia and Venezuela, the largest crocodile in the Americas, 13-16 feet long with a slender snout, listed as critically endangered.

Are there crocodiles in Africa?

Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) attacked by a giant Nile crocodile.
The Nile crocodile is one of the largest crocodiles and can be very aggressive.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

Crocodiles are found in the southern two-thirds of Africa, with the exception of Namibia, Botswana and most of South Africa. There are no crocodiles in the deserts of northern Africa either.

  • Nile crocodile: Found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the freshwater crocodile, one of the largest crocodiles, grows 16-18 feet long, weighs up to 2,200 pounds, and lives 30-60 years, although some have reached 80 years.
  • Slender alligator: distributed in west and central Africa, 6-8 feet long, slender body, slender snout.
  • African Pygmy Crocodile: Found in West and Midwest Africa, the smallest crocodile, 3-4.5 feet long, is listed as Vulnerable .

Are there crocodiles in Asia?

Crocodiles are abundant in India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

  • Marauder crocodile: Sometimes called the Indian or Persian crocodile, this 13-16 foot long crocodile is known as the "marauder" because it waits quietly for prey before swooping in.
  • Saltwater crocodile (Estuarine): Found in Southeast Asia and eastern India, one of the largest crocodiles, measuring 16-18 feet long and weighing 1,100 pounds, is the most aggressive crocodile in both fresh and salt water.
  • Siamese crocodile: Only found in a few Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, small, 5-6 feet long, freshwater, many live on farms in Southeast Asia, farmed for its valuable skin, listed as critically endangered species .
  • Philippine crocodile: Philippine native crocodile, medium-sized, 8-10 feet long, freshwater, listed as critically endangered .

Are there crocodiles in Australia?

Australian freshwater crocodile in the river.
Australian freshwater crocodiles have long, thin snouts. They can be found in and around rivers and lakes.

©Bildagentur Zonar GmbH/Shutterstock.com

  • Saltwater crocodile (Estuarine): Found in northern Australia, one of the largest crocodiles, 16-18 feet long and 1,100 pounds, the most aggressive of the freshwater and saltwater crocodiles.
  • Australian freshwater crocodile: Native to northern Australia, 5-8 feet long, with a thin, hazel, freshwater snout.
  • New Guinea crocodile: Found only on the island of Papua New Guinea, 7-9 feet long, freshwater, estimated population of 100,000 individuals, listed as no concern .

Are there crocodiles in Europe?

Crocodiles don't live in Europe. As mentioned above, crocodiles are cold-blooded animals and need to live in climates in the 85-95° range. All European countries experience winter temperatures well below this range.

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Are there crocodiles in Antarctica?

Crocodiles don't live in Antarctica. At the southernmost tip of Antarctica (the "warmest" place), there is a weather station at the Esperanza base. Average daily temperatures in June are 13 degrees Fahrenheit and 35 degrees in January. So, unless there is an unknown fur crocodile, it is impossible for crocodiles to survive in Antarctica.

What kind of habitat do crocodiles live in?

Freshwater crocodiles bask in the wind in Windjana Gorge National Park in the Kimberley, Western Australia.
Alligators need water from lakes, rivers, ponds or swamps. Saltwater crocodiles can live in estuaries and seashores.

©Kirsty Nadine/Shutterstock.com

  • Freshwater: Crocodiles live in and around lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, and wetlands.
  • Saltwater: Crocodiles live in estuaries and in mixtures of fresh and saltwater, they are semi-aquatic and can stay underwater for up to an hour.
  • Crocodile Farms: Several countries have crocodile farms. In Thailand, there are more than 1,000 crocodile farms. One of the largest is the Sri Ayutthaya Crocodile Farm , home to an estimated 150,000 crocodiles! Alligator skin is used to make handbags and leather suits. They also sell crocodile meat and bile and blood that are believed to have medicinal properties.
  • Conservation Center/Zoo: In Florida, Alligator Lake National Wildlife Refuge works to protect and increase the American alligator population. Due to habitat loss, these animals are restricted to smaller areas. The goal of conservationists is to find ways to increase the flow of freshwater into estuaries (the places where freshwater flows into the ocean) in alligator habitat. They try to teach others how to help protect current populations and improve the species' future.


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about the author

I'm a wildlife conservation writer and reporter who raises awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share our planet. I graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris with a degree in Elementary Education, and I am a former teacher. When I'm not writing, I enjoy going to the kids' soccer games, watching movies, working on DIY projects, and running with Tango, our giant Labrador.

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