(Alderton 1991; Britton 1995). “Squamosals” (bony plates) found behind the eyes on top of the head, are more prounounced in the Cuban crocodile than any other living crocodilian. Thanks for visiting the Louisville Zoo website. Once they have caught their prey they will drag it under water. Problems that threaten the Cuban crocodile are hybridization with the American crocodile, habitat destruction for agriculture and charcoal burning industries and hunting. It is estimated that there are 3,000 in the wild and 1,000 in captivity. Crocodilians are the largest and most highly developed of modern reptiles. Length: Male – 11 feet, Female – 8 feet Wild: Juveniles will capture arthropods and small vertebrates. Cuban crocodiles are highly vulnerable due to their restricted distribution. Cuban crocodile eating fish Cuban Crocodile Diet. Now can only be found in two swamps in Cuba, Zapata and Lanier. They are only documented to feed in such a manner in certain locations though. Critically Endangered. A female Cuban crocodile makes a nest by scraping vegetation and soil into a mound in which she will lay 10 – 40 eggs. They do feed upon quite a few different types of animals out there. 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. 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. Habitat destruction encroaches on the marshes where they live and a further threat is competition by introduced and hybrid species. The Louisville Zoo manages this program for the long term survival of the species. STATUS: The younger Cuban Crocodile is likely to consume insects, turtles, and fish. Bill McMahan. The Cuban crocodile has the smallest geographic distribution of any living crocodilian. Crocodilians are amphibious reptiles and use their tail to guide and push themselves through the water. REFERENCES: Crocodiles cannot chew their food and must swallow their prey whole or tear it into pieces and swallow. SIZE: Juvenile Cuban crocodiles thrive on arthropods, gastropods like apple snails and small fish while the adults prefer freshwater turtles, fish and other small mammals. To prevent water from entering their lungs crocodilians have a muscular flap that will close off their throat while catching and swallowing prey. The Cuban crocodile is a very distinctive crocodile with big teeth and heavy armor with a speckled pattern. Crocodilians are the largest and most highly developed of modern reptiles. If the babies need additional assistance hatching, the female will crack the eggs in her mouth. 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. They will hatch in about three months. The female will then guard the nest from predators and will uncover the eggs when she hears the hatchlings calling. It is believed this is an adaptation of their environment rather than a behavior of this particular crocodile species. At the Zoo, the crocodiles ea t croc pellets, rats, rabbits and occasionally fish. To date, more,than 600 Cuban crocodiles have been released. They have powerful jaws and teeth to hold them and to tear them apart. RANGE: Adults will eat almost any other animal they can overpower such as hutia, birds, fish and turtles. Young crocodiles have many enemies, like herons, and will spend 2 to 3 years in hiding until they grow large enough to protect themselves. The Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) is a small-medium species of crocodile found only in Cuba. According to the IUCN Red List, the total Cuban crocodile population size is around 3,000-5,000 mature individuals. Large males can reach as much as 3.5 m (11 ft) in length and weigh more than 215 kg (474 lb). In captivity Cuban crocodiles maintain dominance hierarchies based on size, gender When hunting, crocodiles sneak up on their prey by drifting on the surface of the water with only their eyes and nostrils above water. The Cuban crocodile is a very distinctive crocodile with big teeth and heavy armor with a speckled pattern. While the adults like to have small mammals, fish, and turtles. POINTS OF INTEREST: Historically Cuba, the Cayman Islands and Bahamas. When it is hot a crocodile can cool off by holding its mouth open. 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. Despite its modest size, it is a highly aggressive animal, and potentially dangerous to humans. The typical diet of a Cuban Crocodile varies because both adult and juvenile crocodiles hunt different kinds of prey. They can also leap from the water, using powerful tail thrusts below the surface, to catch birds and arboreal mammals from overhanging tree branches. Juveniles tend to feed on invertebrates and small fish, while adults primarily eat fish, turtles and small mammals. and temperament. Guardian Liberty Voice", "Croc death sparks concerns over noise levels from resort", "Fidel Castro's crocodile bites man at aquarium party". The Louisville Zoo manages this program which is working to maintain the genetic diversity of the species. Population number. Weight: Male – 400 lbs, Female – 150 lbs. Crocodilians are the only reptiles that care for their young. BEHAVIOR: Zoo: Rats. They control their body temperature by thermoregulation and spend most of the night in the water where it is warmer. Adult Cuban Crocodiles eat mainly fish,turtles and small mammals. 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. The evaporation of the moisture in the crocodile’s mouth cools the body. They have the rear teeth which are blunt to crushing the shells of their turtle prey. The “egg tooth” will fall off soon after hatching. Typical length is 2.1–2.3 m (6.9–7.5 ft) and typical weight 70–80 kg (150–180 lb). As they get larger and stronger they will move on to larger mammals. REPRODUCTION: The eggs have hard shells and are about 3 inches long. AZA SSP fact sheet on the Cuban crocodile. Fossil records suggest that they once fed on now-extinct giant ground sloths, which may have led to the evolution of their blunt rear teeth, now used for crushing turtle shells. In some areas they will use their tails to hi… DIET: 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.

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