National Geographic : 1978 Jan
. AFRICAN SLENDER SNOUTED CROCODILE South America's caimans, ranging from the 18-foot black to the three-foot smooth-fronted dwarf, are now the skin trade's main quarry. One sure mark of the crocodile family: lower teeth are still exposed when jaws are closed. A few American crocs remain in southern Florida; ag gressive Cuban crocs may still survive in Zapata Swamp. In Australia inaccessible billabongs shel ter Johnson's croc, while in Papua New Guinea dozens of farms rear reptiles captured in the wild. Some 11,000 Siamese crocs-possibly extinct in the wild-thrive on a breeding farm in Thailand. The wide distribution of relentlessly hunted Nile and saltwater species is their key to survival. Best angler of all crocodilians is the sole surviv ing member of the third family, the long-nosed gharial, or gavial, of the Indian subcontinent. The false gharial of Malaysia is actually a croc.