Savage, Jay M. Department of Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
Cash, W. Ben Department of Biology, Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee.
Last reviewed:November 2015
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An order of the class Reptilia whose aquatic species include the alligators, caimans, crocodiles, and gavials (gharials). The order Crocodylia (Crocodilia), which belongs to the Archosauria clade, has a long fossil history from the Late Triassic, and its constituent members (Fig. 1) are the closest living relatives of the extinct dinosaurs and the birds. The 24 living species are typically found in tropical areas of Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. One form, the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), has traversed oceanic barriers from the East Indies to the Fiji Islands. See also: Alligator; Archosauria; Crocodile; Gavial; Reptilia
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