Main Differences Between Alligators and Crocodiles


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Many people are unaware that there’s a difference between alligators and crocodiles and use both terms interchangeably to describe any large water-dwelling lizard with big teeth. What they don’t realize is that, despite some similarities, the two reptiles don’t look or behave the same. They also belong to different biological families.

8 ways to tell alligators and crocodiles apart:

  1. Shape of the snout. The crocodile’s snout is pointed and V-shaped, and the alligator’s is wide and U-shaped.

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  2. Location. Alligators are only found in parts of the US and China, whereas crocodiles can be found across the world.
  3. Habitat. Crocodiles prefer water that is more saline or salty than the alligator’s preferred freshwater habitat.
  4. Toothy grin. Crocodiles can’t hide their teeth, but alligators’ teeth are sometimes hidden when their mouths are closed.
  5. Size. A full-grown crocodile will likely be several feet longer than an adult alligator.
  6. Color. Crocodiles are generally lighter in color than alligators.
  7. Speed. On land and in water, crocodiles are usually slower than alligators.
  8. Behavior. In terms of aggression, an alligator might seem tame compared to a crocodile.

Once you understand the differences, it is actually pretty easy to tell them apart.

Source: owlcation

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