Differenced from its more familiar cousin, the alligator, by its narrow and pointing snout, the American crocodile is a rare sight in the southeast United States.
It was late afternoon when we spotted this pair of crocodiles crossing the canal towards the marina. There were only two other people on the wharf as the crocodiles approached. One large and one small crocodile; the smaller was resting its head on the back of the larger crocodile as they swam in unison.
As the pair of crocodiles approached the wharf, they smaller apparently became aware of people standing on the wharf.
Lifting its head, the smaller crocodile separated from the larger and began to swim away.
The larger crocodile continued towards the wharf while the smaller turned away and dove under the water. I estimate the larger crocodile to be ten feet long.
The larger crocodile approaching the edge of the wharf; this and the next four pictures are the same with the exception for varied circular polarizer settings. With minimal polarizer the surface of the water is almost opaque.
With about half polarizer more underwater details are visible.
With full polarizer effect the water is clear giving a good view of the legs of the crocodile. I assume the brown coloring of the lower body is from the tannin present in the Everglades water.
Two more views of the crocodile with minimum and maximum polarizer effect. Minimum effect produces an opaque water surface.
With maximum polarizer effect more underwater detail is clearly visible.
The crocodile swam up to the edge of the wharf just below where some people were standing.
The crocodile waited a few moments. No one on the wharf at the time offered any food to the crocodile. However, I think the crocodile was seeking food handouts. Sadly, some people are creating a dangerous situation where wild animals see people as a source of food.
After waiting a few minutes and getting no hand outs, the crocodile turned and swam slowly away.
This and the next are two more pictures of the crocodile swimming away from the wharf.
Even on higher ground, the darkening sky and the chop in the water make the crocodile hard to see.
The crocodile swam across the Buttonwood Canal and sought refuge and concealment in the mangrove roots.