Cuban crocodile
Temporal range: Late Pleistocene - Present
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A Cuban Crocodile in captivity
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Genus: Crocodylus
Species: C. rhombifer
Binomial name
Crocodylus rhombifer
Cuvier, 1807
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Cuban crocodile range

The Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) is a small species of crocodile found only in Cuba. Typical length is 2.1–2.3 m (6.9–7.5 ft) and typical weight 70–80 kg (150–180 lb). Large males can reach as much as 3.5 m (11 ft) in length and weigh more than 215 kg (474 lb). Despite its modest size, it is a highly aggressive animal, and potentially dangerous to humans.

The Cuban crocodile is of interest to biologists for its unique physical and behavioral traits. Long- and strong-legged, it is the most terrestrial of extant crocodiles. Its preferred habitat comprises freshwater environments such as marshes and rivers. There, the adults feed on fish, turtles and small mammals, while the young eat invertebrates and smaller fish. Mating occurs between May and July. Captive animals have displayed cooperative hunting behavior and could be taught tricks.

The Cuban crocodile is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Once spread across the Caribbean, its range has dwindled to including only the Zapata Swamp and the Isle of Youth, due to hunting by humans. Captive breeding projects are in place to help the species recover.


The Cuban crocodile has numerous characteristics that set it apart from other crocodilians, such as its brighter adult colors, rougher, more 'pebbled' scales, and long, strong legs. This is a small to mid-sized crocodilian. Typical adults were found to have measured 2.1–2.3 m (6.9–7.5 ft) in length and to have weighed 70–80 kg (150–180 lb). Large males can reach as much as 3.5 m (11 ft) in length and weigh 215 kg (474 lb) or more.


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