Morelet’s Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii)
– The geographic range of the Morelet’s crocodile extends from southern Mexico,Guatemala, and Belize. They live in sympatry with the American Crocodile in Belize and Mexico, and Caiman spp. in the southwest of Mexico, and possibly northern Guatemala.
– According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Morelet’s crocodile is of Least Concern. Previously, poaching was a major cause for killings and small population numbers. Currently, the major threats are habitat destruction and pollution.
– The Morelet’s crocodile is a medium-size species of crocodilian. Males can reach up to 10ft (~3m)
– Morelet’s crocodile have a very wide snout, similar to alligators. This reflects their preferred prey such as raccoons, and other small mammals.
– The Morelet’s crocodile is principally a freshwater dwelling crocodile. It primarily inhabits freshwater lakes, rivers, but can be found in brackish water.
– The Morelet’s crocodile is NOT a man-eater. They prefer eating fish, crab, shrimp, and small mammals like raccoons.
– The Morelet’s crocodile is more of an aggressive species than American crocodiles, but prefers to stay away from humans.
– Mating season for the Morelet’s crocodile begins mid-dry season. Gestation lasts for about 60-90 days in which females will create a mound nest and lay their eggs for another 60-90 days between mid-May and mid-June. Eggs usually hatch at the peak of the rainy season (September or August).
– Crocodile vocalization starts in the egg. Hatchlings chirp inside the egg to coordinate hatching, and alert the mother to dig them out. Mother come to their aid.