While the adults like to have small mammals, fish, and turtles. BEHAVIOR: It is estimated that there are 3,000 in the wild and 1,000 in captivity. “Squamosals” (bony plates) found behind the eyes on top of the head, are more prounounced in the Cuban crocodile than any other living crocodilian. The evaporation of the moisture in the crocodile’s mouth cools the body. Thanks for visiting the Louisville Zoo website. To prevent water from entering their lungs crocodilians have a muscular flap that will close off their throat while catching and swallowing prey. RANGE: The typical diet of a Cuban Crocodile varies because both adult and juvenile crocodiles hunt different kinds of prey. The young Cuban crocodiles prefer to eat small fish, arthropods, and crustaceans in their diet. At dawn, when the water cools down the crocodile climbs onto land and lays in the sun. REPRODUCTION: Crocodiles cannot chew their food and must swallow their prey whole or tear it into pieces and swallow. AZA SSP fact sheet on the Cuban crocodile. Cuban Crocodile Diet. They do feed upon quite a few different types of animals out there. Length: Male – 11 feet, Female – 8 feet They have the rear teeth which are blunt to crushing the shells of their turtle prey. They control their body temperature by thermoregulation and spend most of the night in the water where it is warmer. As they get larger and stronger they will move on to larger mammals. Problems that threaten the Cuban crocodile are hybridization with the American crocodile, habitat destruction for agriculture and charcoal burning industries and hunting. REFERENCES: and temperament. Juveniles tend to feed on invertebrates and small fish, while adults primarily eat fish, turtles and small mammals. To date, more,than 600 Cuban crocodiles have been released. Cuba’s conservation agency the Empresa Nacional para la Proteccion de la Flora y la Fauna has begun a reintroduction program for the Cuban crocodile in the Lanier swamp on the Isle of Youth. A female Cuban crocodile makes a nest by scraping vegetation and soil into a mound in which she will lay 10 – 40 eggs. They have powerful jaws and teeth to hold them and to tear them apart. The Cuban crocodile has the smallest geographic distribution of any living crocodilian. Cuban crocodile eating fish Crocodilians are amphibious reptiles and use their tail to guide and push themselves through the water. Cuban crocodiles are highly vulnerable due to their restricted distribution. The Cuban crocodile is a very distinctive crocodile with big teeth and heavy armor with a speckled pattern. (Alderton 1991; Britton 1995). Population number. Crocodilians are the only reptiles that care for their young. Juvenile Cuban crocodiles thrive on arthropods, gastropods like apple snails and small fish while the adults prefer freshwater turtles, fish and other small mammals. They are only documented to feed in such a manner in certain locations though. When it is hot a crocodile can cool off by holding its mouth open. The AZA has established a Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the Cuban crocodile and is working to maintain the genetic diversity of the species and help conserve wild populations. Zoo: Rats. Adults will eat almost any other animal they can overpower such as hutia, birds, fish and turtles. Baby crocodiles are about 11 inches after hatching and have an “egg tooth” on the tip of their nose that will help them break out of their eggs. Guardian Liberty Voice", "Croc death sparks concerns over noise levels from resort", "Fidel Castro's crocodile bites man at aquarium party". The Cuban crocodile is a very distinctive crocodile with big teeth and heavy armor with a speckled pattern. Critically Endangered. SIZE: Adult Cuban Crocodiles eat mainly fish,turtles and small mammals. The “egg tooth” will fall off soon after hatching. Historically Cuba, the Cayman Islands and Bahamas. In captivity Cuban crocodiles maintain dominance hierarchies based on size, gender Once they have caught their prey they will drag it under water. If the babies need additional assistance hatching, the female will crack the eggs in her mouth. It is believed this is an adaptation of their environment rather than a behavior of this particular crocodile species. Wild: Juveniles will capture arthropods and small vertebrates. Despite its modest size, it is a highly aggressive animal, and potentially dangerous to humans. DIET: Habitat destruction encroaches on the marshes where they live and a further threat is competition by introduced and hybrid species. To protect its eyes, crocodiles have a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane that covers the eye from side to side and is clear allowing the crocodile to see. Crocodilians are the largest and most highly developed of modern reptiles.
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