Where In The World Do Crocodiles Live?

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Published: March 13, 2022
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Crocodiles and alligators look a lot alike, and although they belong to the same order, Crocodilia, they live in different locations throughout the world. Crocodiles are found in Africa, Asia, and Australia, with a few in North and South America. Alligators are located in North and South America. Let’s take a look at where in the world these crocodiles live.

What Is The Difference Between A Crocodile And An Alligator?

Crocodile vs. Alligator
Alligators are smaller, darker-colored, and less aggressive than crocodiles.

There are three families in the order of Crocodilia; Crocodylidae (crocodiles), Alligatoridae (alligators and caiman), and Gavialidae (gharial and false gharial). Alligators have eight different species, Gavialidaes have 1, and there are 14 kinds of crocodiles. The difference between these is that alligators are smaller (8-15 feet, 400-800 lbs), have a rounded snout, and are dark green or black. Crocodiles are larger (up to 23 feet and 2,200 pounds), have a v-shaped snout, and are light green, brown, or grey. Gharials look distinctively different with a long skinny snout and bulging eyes. There are only small populations of gharials left in Nepal and northern India.

Are There Crocodiles In The United States?

animals that estivate: crocodile

Crocodiles live in the United States but can only be found in the southern part of Florida.

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The only place in the United States where you will find crocodiles is in the southern tip of Florida. That is the northern tip of their range. Crocodiles are cold-blooded animals and need to have temperatures around 85-95°, which is why you will find them in countries closer to the equator.

Fun Fact: Florida is the only place in the world where you can find crocodiles and alligators in the same area.

Are There Crocodiles In North America?

Besides the United States, you can find crocodiles in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and the islands of Cuba and Jamaica.

  • American crocodile: large, 13-16 feet long, freshwater, listed as vulnerable.
  • Morelets crocodile: medium-sized, 9 feet long, freshwater, listed as least concern.
  • Cuban crocodile: one of the most endangered species, only found in a few places in Cuba, medium-sized, 10 feet long, freshwater.

Are There Crocodiles In South America?

You can find crocodiles only in the northern countries of South America like Venezuela, Columbia, and Ecuador.

  • American crocodile: large, 13-16 feet long, freshwater, listed as vulnerable.
  • Morelets crocodile: medium sized, 9 feet long, freshwater, listed as least concern.
  • Orinico crocodile: native to Columbia and Venezuela, largest crocodile in the Americas, 13-16 feet long, long skinny snout, listed as critically endangered.

Are There Crocodiles In Africa?

Blue wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus ) being attacked by a huge Nile Crocodile.

Nile crocodiles are one of the largest crocodiles and are very aggressive.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock.com

Crocodiles can be found in the southern two-thirds of Africa except for the desert countries of Namibia, Botswana, and most of South Africa. The northern deserts of Africa do not have any crocodiles either.

  • Nile crocodile: found throughout sub-Sahara Africa, freshwater, one of the largest crocodiles, 16-18 feet long, can weigh 2,200 lbs, lifespan of 30-60 years but some have reached 80.
  • Slender-snouted crocodile: found in western and central Africa, 6-8 feet long, slim body and slender snout.
  • African dwarf crocodile: found in west and west central Africa, smallest crocodile, 3-4.5 feet long, listed as vulnerable.

Are There Crocodiles In Asia?

Large populations of crocodiles can be found throughout India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

  • Mugger crocodile: sometimes called the Indian or Persian crocodile, 13-16 feet long, called a “mugger” because it quietly waits for its prey before suddenly attacking.
  • Saltwater crocodile (Estuarine): found in southeast Asia and eastern India, one of the largest, 16-18 feet long, 1,100 lbs, freshwater and saltwater, most aggressive crocodile.
  • Siamese crocodile: found only in a few southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, smaller sized, 5-6 feet long, freshwater, many live on farms in southeast Asia, farmed for their valuable skin, listed as critically endangered.
  • Philippine crocodile: native crocodile of the Philippines, medium-sized, 8-10 feet long, freshwater, listed as critically endangered.

Are There Crocodiles In Australia?

Australian Freshwater Crocodile in a river.

Australian freshwater crocodiles have a long and skinny snout. They can be found in and around rivers and lakes.

©Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock.com

  • Saltwater crocodile (Estuarine): found in the northern part of Australia, one of the largest, 16-18 feet long, 1,100 lbs, freshwater and saltwater, most aggressive crocodile.
  • Australian freshwater crocodile: found in the northern part of Australia, 5-8 feet long, skinny snout, light brown, freshwater.
  • New Guinea crocodile: found only on the island of Papua New Guinea, 7-9 feet long, freshwater, an estimated population of 100,000, listed as least concern.

Are There Crocodiles In Europe?

Crocodiles do not live in Europe. As mentioned above, crocodiles are cold-blooded animals and need to live in a climate that has a range of 85-95°. All European countries have temperatures in the winter that dip well below this range.

Are There Crocodiles In Antarctica?

Crocodiles do not live in Antarctica. At the southernmost point of Antarctica (the “warmest”), there is a weather station at Esperanza Base. The daily average temperature in June is 13° F, and in January, it is a balmy 35°. So, unless there is an unknown fur-covered crocodile, there is no way a crocodile could survive in Antarctica.

What Kind Of Habitats Do Crocodiles Live In?

Freshwater Crocodiles sunning themselves in the Windjana Gorge National Park, Kimberley, Western Australia.

Crocodiles need access to water from lakes, rivers, ponds, or marshes. Saltwater crocodiles can live in estuaries and by the ocean.

©Kirsty Nadine/Shutterstock.com

  • Freshwater: Crocodiles live in and around lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, and wetlands.
  • Saltwater: Crocodiles live in estuaries and in a mix of freshwater and saltwater, they’re semi-aquatic, and can stay underwater for up to an hour.
  • Crocodile farms: Several countries have crocodile farms. In Thailand, there are more than 1,000 crocodile farms. One of the largest farms is the Sri Ayutthaya Crocodile Farm, which has an estimated 150,000 crocs! The crocodile skins are used to make handbags and leather suits. They also sell the crocodile meat and the bile and blood which are believed to have medicinal properties.
  • Conservation centers/zoos: In Florida, there is the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge that is working to keep the American crocodile protected, and to grow its population. Due to habitat loss, these animals have been limited to smaller areas. Conservationists aim to find ways to increase the flow of freshwater into the estuaries (where freshwater feeds into the oceans) where the crocodiles live. They try to teach others how to help protect the current population and to improve the future of the species.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pius Rino Pungkiawan/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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