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Target Species: American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus
Location: Turkey Point & Taylor River, South Florida, USA
Director: Hugo Smith

Location: American alligators are distributed throughout SE USA but the American crocodile in the US is confined to southern Florida.

Mission Statement:

For most tourists Florida means alligators and with four million alligators in the state they are not difficult to find. However, Florida is also home to two other crocodilians, the introduced Spectacled caiman, Caiman crocodilus from Latin America, and the endangered, ocean-going American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus. Almost pushed to extinction by man, the crocodile has benefitted from a recovery program and its numbers are now increasing significantly in south Florida. Mark joins Joe Wasilewski at night on his airboat at Turkey Point Power Station where the power station’s cooling channels have become home to a large crocodile population. Mark also visits the remote Taylor’s River location in the southern Everglades, a river which can only be reached from the sea, with crocodile expert Dr Frank Mazzotti. Frank takes Mark to the threatened crocodile nesting sites he knows and the two search for crocodiles by torch-light in the lakes along the Taylor’s River.
[Mark also investigated the alligators in the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge and Lake Apopka, Florida, as well as joining Pesky Critters to capture nuisance alligators and caiman in the canals around Homestead Air Force Base but this footage failed to make the final film.]

A close view of an American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), note the narrow snout in contrast to broad snout of an alligator.

Species recorded during 'Back From The Brink'

Species Common Name
Pseudemys nelsoni Nelson's cooter
Pseudemys peninsularis Peninsula cooter
Trachemys scripta elegans Red-eared slider
Alligator mississippiensis American alligator
Caiman crocodilus crocodilus Spectacled camian
Crocodylus acutus American crocodile
Iguana iguana rhinolopha Central American green iguana
Anolis sagrei sagrei Cuban brown anole
Nerodia fasciata pictiventris Florida banded watersnake


Location: Alligators occur throughout Florida, Crocodiles are found in the extreme south (in red) and introduced Spectacled caiman are found at Homestead.


New Yorker, Frank Mazzotti is an ackowledged expert on the American crocodile. He took O'Shea to the remote Taylor's River.



Turkey Point croc. Researcher Joe Wasilewski and Mark O'Shea compare an alligator (l.) with a crocodile (r.)



There are four million American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida. Note the broad-snout.



Attempting to noose an adult American crocodile in Taylor's River, Everglades National Park, at night.



Examining a juvenile American crocodile caught from an airboat at Turkey Point, s.Florida.


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