The indiscriminate and somewhat ferocious feeding behaviour of crocodiles is notorious, but less known is their sociable nature, a rare feature in the world of reptiles (4). Not only do female Belize crocodiles guard their nests and protect their young, males may also assist with care of the young hatchlings (2). The female constructs a mound of vegetation, up to one metre high and three metres across, situated close to water. At the end of the dry season (2), usually between April and June (5), a clutch of 20 to 45 eggs are laid, each measuring ten centimetres across. For the next 80 days, the female remains close to the nest, finally helping her young out of the nest once the eggs hatch (2).
Young Belize crocodiles initially eat small fish and hunt invertebrates, such as crickets, at the water’s edge (2). As they grow, the diet also expands, to include larger fish, aquatic snails, small mammals (2), crustaceans and frogs (5). Eventually, the Belize crocodile will devour anything that comes close to the water (5).
During the hottest part of the day, the Belize crocodile takes refuge in an underground burrow which it has dug. This burrow, which may be several metres long, usually has an underwater entrance and a larger chamber with an air hole (5).