As the biggest and most diverse Caribbean islands, Cuba and Hispaniola are home to both ancient mammals that have gone extinct elsewhere, but also to new endemic species like the Cuban crocodile.
The story of an American crocodile caught in the Caribbean Current and washed up on Cuba’s shores reveals the challenges of island life. Life on Cuba and Hispaniola means isolation – a blessing and a curse in equal measure. Above all, survival here requires adaptation. Over time, it has produced new species and preserved others, including some so secretive they’re rarely seen, like the bizarre venomous solenodon. And sometimes, it’s even possible to find an animal in the process of evolving into something new, including an isolated population of American crocodiles caught in the confines of Hispaniola’s unique salt lake, Lago Enriquillo.