Live Crocs in the Exhibition

Part of the Crocs exhibition.

American alligator American alligators thrive in the swamps of many southern states.
© McDonald Wildlife Photography

Part of the Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World exhibition. 

American Alligators

American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are devoted parents. The female builds a nest by scraping together leaves and other debris, buries her eggs inside the mound, and stands guard for two months until the babies hatch. A live-animal diorama in the exhibition features a re-created alligator nest at water’s edge, where live hatchlings swim and interact in the adjacent pool.

African Slender-snouted Crocodile

African slender-snouted crocodile, a narrow-nosed crocodile, on a sandy bank
This narrow-nosed crocodile hunts fish and other prey underwater.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

An agile swimmer that does its hunting underwater, the namesake nose of the slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus) is well adapted to move quickly while catching fish, which form the bulk of this endangered animal’s diet. 

Dwarf Crocodile

Photo of a dwarf crocodile on a log
Dwarf crocodiles are among the smallest crocodile species on Earth today.
© McDonald Wildlife Photography

These shy forest dwellers spend much of the day hidden in earthen burrows and emerge after dark to search for food. Unlike most crocodilians, dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus tetraspis) do much of their hunting on land—prowling the forest at night, far from water.

Siamese Crocodiles

Picture of the threatened Siamese crocodile
Siamese crocodiles like this one are gravely threatened in the wild.
© McDonald Wildlife Photography

Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) are among the most endangered crocodilian species, and may be functionally extinct throughout much of their range. Conservation groups are scrambling to save the last wild populations of Siamese crocs, which are threatened by habitat loss and construction of hydroelectric dams.

Lead image: American alligators thrive in the swamps of many southern states. (© McDonald Wildlife Photography)