Genetic diversity in Morelet's Crocodile Populations estimated using Molecular Markers

This project began as my dissertation research, and it continues - as is usually the case with research, more questions just keep being generated! I spent two field seasons in Belize, Central America, capturing crocodiles and taking blood samples for microsatellite analysis. We observed high levels of genetic diversity, and identified a key population in the New River/New River lagoon. You can read more about our results in the article Genetic Diversity, Population Subdivision, and Gene Flow in Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) from Belize, Central America published in Copeia, December 2002. Additionally we discovered the possibility of hybridization between the freshwater Morelet's crocodiles and the saltwater American crocodiles, which you can read about in the article Low Levels of Nucleotide Diversity in Crocodylus moreletii and Evidence of Hybridization with C. acutus published in Conservation Genetics, 2004.

For additional natural history information, visit the http://digimorph.org/specimens/Crocodylus_moreletii/ and the Belize Zoo Morelet's website.


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