What’s The Difference between alligator and crocodile?

Many people understand the terms alligator and crocodile as synonyms, although we are not talking about the same animals, although it is true that they have very important similarities that clearly differentiate them from other types of reptiles: they are really fast in the water, they have very teeth Sharp and extremely strong jaws and are very intelligent when it comes to ensuring their survival.

Difference between alligator and crocodile

However, there are also notable differences between them that show that it is not the same animal, differences in anatomy, behavior and even the possibility of staying in one habitat or another.

Scientific classification of alligator and crocodile

The term crocodile refers to any species belonging to the Crocodilia order, however the true crocodiles are those belonging to the Crocodilia order and in this order, we can highlight the Aligatoridae family and the Gavialidae family.

Alligators belong to the Aligatoridae family, therefore, alligators are only one family within the broad group to which the crocodiles belong, using this term to define a much wider set of species.

If we compare the specimens belonging to the Aligatoridae family with the rest of the species belonging to the other families within the order Crocodilia , we can establish important differences.

Differences in the oral cavity

One of the biggest differences between the alligator and the crocodile can be seen in the snout. The alligator’s snout is wider and in its lower part it has a U-shape, instead, the crocodile’s snout is thinner and in its lower part, we can observe a V-shaped.

There is also an important difference in dental pieces and jaw structure. The crocodile has both jaws practically the same size and this allows us to observe the lower and upper teeth when the jaw is closed.

Instead, the alligator has the lower jaw thinner than the upper one and its lower teeth are barely visible when it remains with the jaw closed.

Differences in size and color

Sometimes we can compare an adult alligator with a young crocodile and observe that the alligator has larger dimensions, however, comparing two specimens in the same conditions of maturation, we will observe that generally, the crocodiles are larger than the alligators.

The alligator and the crocodile have scales of the skin of a very similar color, however, in the crocodile, we can observe spots and dimples present at the edges of the ridges, a characteristic that the alligator does not possess.

Differences in behavior and habitat

The alligator can only live in freshwater areas, however, the crocodile has specific glands in the oral cavity that it uses for water filtration, therefore, it is also capable of living in saltwater areas, however, It is common to find some species that are characterized by living in a freshwater habitat despite having these glands.

The behavior of these two animals also presents differences, since the crocodile is very aggressive in nature but the alligator shows less aggressiveness and is less prone to attack humans. Discover what the crocodile’s diet is.

You May Also Interested: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button