American Crocodile Picture Gallery

On the American species endangered list and a rare sighting, is the American crocodile. The pictures below are of a 12 foot female American crocodile in the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida (11/28/05). The USA range of this American native crocodile is strictly south Florida with breeding areas from the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant facilities south of Miami, through Florida Bay and Everglades National Park coastal locations. Not a picky eater, the American crocodile tends to be happily at home in the brackish (mixed salt and fresh water areas) rivers, bays and estuaries of south Florida, feeding on the plentiful land and aquatic wildlife in the area.

The pictures below were shot during a single long sighting. The croc's belly seems stretched full. She may have been fresh from a feed and resting on a bank, as alligators often do after a big feeding. In any event, she was not as aggressive as her crocodilian reputation dictates and succumbed to thousands of footsteps, flashes and shutter clicks from many visitors to the refuge that day. I shot my pictures with one of my long lenses, not caring to get as close as my pocket-camera counterparts. Most were gone by the time she opened that big mouth of hers (see below), revealing a cavernous throat behind the huge teeth. This leathery lady is believed to be about 50 years old and, based on her markings, is known to be a regular to the refuge.

See "how to tell crocodiles from alligators" on this site.

It is worth repeating that you may encounter wild animals in Florida; those that don't move away from you when approached should be the most feared by you because they may have lost their fear of man or are defending a territory. Both of these situations can represent extreme danger where humans can easily be hurt or killed as a result of their ignorant behavior.

The Canon EOS Digital Rebel single lens reflex (dSLR) camera was employed for most of the bird photos below. It was equipped with a  Sigma zoom lens 200-500 mm, sometimes with a 1.4 tele-extender. All photos on the page are downsized and compressed for loading speed. The high resolution 6.3 megapixel images are archived offline.

A click on each picture brings up a larger image. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

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This 12-foot crocodile, identified as a "regular" to Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, is about 50 years old. Since American Crocodiles can grow to 16 feet or more, she may get larger.

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