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American Crocodile

Patricio Robles Gil / Minden Pictures

The only place to find wild American crocodiles in the United States is in the mangrove swamps of the southernmost tip of Florida. There, crocodiles can live up to 50 years and grow more than 6 feet in length! Baby crocodiles thrive in the brackish water of these mangrove swamps, where they can survive in saline conditions but still have access to fresh water. Although crocodiles may have a fearsome reputation for being able to take down large animals and even humans, they mostly survive on a diet of fish.

Climate Change Impacts

Although American crocodiles live in environments with a mixture of fresh and salt water, rising sea levels can flood the Everglades and alter that balance. The intrusion of too much saltwater can impact the growth and development of crocodile hatchings, which have a much lower tolerance for saltwater than adults. Crocodiles are also susceptible to global warming because the sex of hatchlings is determined by temperature during incubation of the eggs. Consistently warming temperature would tip the sex ratio of crocodiles and threaten their very survival.

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We are connected to each other, to our environment. From faraway places to our own backyard. But climate change is now changing the Earth as we know it, and animals and plants from the Arctic to the Everglades are feeling the consequences.