While in Costa Rica, I gave a free eye and dental exam to this enormous crocodile. He or she passed! 😆

Photos 1 thru 6 are an American Crocodile or sometimes called Costa Rican or Central American, or saltwater crocodile. SCIENTIFIC NAME: Crocodylus acutus Photos 1 thru 6 were shot in Costa Rica, and this is the same species that live in and are native to South Florida and Central America. They are a freshwater species like our American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) but tolerate and use saltwater very well.

I love photographing and looking at both species, and you can tell the differences pretty quickly. First, crocodiles are bigger. Males can grow over 6 meters (18-20 feet), and females seem to be around 4ish meters (12ish feet). The snout is also very obviously different. It is shaped almost to a point where an alligator has a much broader and rounded, non-pointed snout. Crocodiles are typically much lighter in color than our alligators which are dark green but sometimes appear almost all black (not really shown in these photos). Also, the way the teeth are exposed, crocodile teeth stick out more from the bottom jaw, and two lower teeth stick way up, which our alligators typically do not. Photos 7 thru 10 along the bottom show the alligator teeth. Of course, photographers have to get a sharp shot of the eyeball no matter what species we shoot, and I freaking love alligator and crocodile eyeballs. I did a previous post about how unique and how amazingly adapted alligator eyeballs are and why they appear red at night. Scroll back through my posts if you are interested. Also, as always, I shoot with a very high-power zoom lens and a high-megapixel camera. This is so I can shoot from a distance and try never to alter an animal’s behavior. In fact, it is much more enjoyable and ethical to watch and learn natural animal behaviors by observing them from a distance.

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