Alligators and crocodiles are two of the most well-known reptiles on earth. They both look very similar, but there are a few key differences that set them apart. In this blog post, we will discuss 8 facts about alligators and crocodiles that you might not know!
The distinction between alligators and crocodiles is like that of cats and dogs. They are not identical, but their similarities can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what details to look for.
Alligator teeth are more visible than the upper jaw, whereas a croc’s lower mandible juts out farther from its jaws because it has an extra row of teeth on each side which overlap with the front set in a saw-like fashion (that’s why they’re called “saw” or “jaw” tooth crocs).
The ears also differentiate them: right behind your eye sockets there should be two small holes—those would correspond with where alligators have large external ears anchored by bony extensions.
The alligator and crocodile are two different species of reptiles. They can be differentiated in eight ways:
The shape of the snout – The alligator has a wide, U-shaped shaped snout while the crocodiles have pointy V-shaped ones.
Location is another way to tell them apart; Crocodiles prefer salty or saline water environments whereas Alligators live only in freshwater habitats for more information on where you could find each one scroll down below!
Habitat refers to either saltwater or freshwater environment that’s preferred by these creatures respectively making it easier than ever before with their classification system!
Crocodile teeth cannot be hidden, whereas alligator teeth can be hidden while the mouth is closed. It’s likely that a mature crocodile will measure several feet longer than an adult alligator in length.
The colour of these two reptiles are fairly different- crocs tend to have lighter skin with darker bands on their body and tail, whereas some types of alligators have black scales or dark stripes across their back from head to tail!
Croc speed is also slower when compared to the land/water speeds for both species – they’re not good swimmers like other lizards but excel at walking overland where there may sometimes exist obstacles that make it harder for them without any water resistance whatsoever.
The way they act. An alligator may appear docile in comparison to a crocodile in terms of violence, but it’s actually quite simple to tell them differently if you grasp the distinctions. Below, I go over each of these distinctions in further depth (or how subtle clues can be used).
1. Crocodiles and alligators have different snouts.
The alligator and the crocodile have a significant distinction in their snouts. The alligators have more of an elongated, narrower nose with a V-shape while the crocodiles are shorter but still quite long with their own backward-pointing shape that resembles half of a letter J.
Alligators are adapted to eating turtles which they break apart by ramming into them hard enough for it to crack open before prying off pieces using their claws or teeth whereas crocs only need one good snap from those powerful jaws because prey such as fish, reptiles, and mammals can’t really escape once captured.
2. Where Can You Find Alligators and Crocodiles?
Crocs and alligators are two of the world’s most terrifying reptiles, but there is a significant difference between them. Crocodiles can be found in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, North America, South America and Central America whereas Alligatoris only found in southeastern United States and eastern China.
In the US an alligator is significantly more likely to be encountered than a crocodile; you’ll find these predators throughout Florida as well as parts of Georgia Alabama Mississippi Louisiana Okalahoma Arkansas Texas Oklahoma Tennessee Kansas Missouri Mississippi River Delta region with minor populations scattered across other states like Arizona New Mexico Nevada California Oregon Washington Colorado Idaho Montana Utah Wyoming Nebraska Iowa Illinois Indiana Michigan Ohio Pennsylvania West Virginia Kentucky Rhode Island Connecticut Maine Vermont Massachusetts.
The American Crocodile is a species that can only be found in the southernmost tip of Florida. However, alligators are much more populous and you’ll find them throughout most of America’s waterways too! In Southern Florida, both crocodiles and alligators live together because it’s one region on Earth where they coexist peacefully.
3. Freshwater or saltwater habitat?
Crocodiles’ tongues are constantly moistened by the glands that remove salt from their bodies. This allows them to stay in water for days or weeks at a time, unlike alligators who prefer fresh water and cannot stand spending long periods of time out of it.
The reason why crocodiles have spread over Caribbean islands is because they can move through both fresh-water environments as well as brackish ones (a mixture between fresh and seawater).
Alligator’s inability to survive too much longer than 3 hours outside the range of freshwater explains why there has not been an instance on record where one was found off Cuba during any survey conducted since 1965 – but this may change now with climate change altering rainfall patterns around world so that freshwater is no longer available year-round.
4. Their teeth are different.
Though often mistaken for one another, the snouts of an alligator and a crocodile can be distinguished by their mouths being closed. Crocodiles’ teeth are exposed when they close their mouth while alligators have none visible from that angle.
The difference becomes more apparent when examining other sections on the animal’s body – like looking at top jaws with both open-jawed animals side to side: With its higher upper jaw, an alligator is able to hide every last tooth in it whereas a lower fourth tooth always protrudes over the crocodile’s lip giving them what looks like either a jagged “smiling” expression or simply lips curled back exposing some teeth offhandedly which makes sense as most predators will bare only enough fangs necessary help them grab and kill their prey.
An alligator also has a shorter, rounded snout with two pairs of eyes (one on either side) whereas crocodiles have longer, more pointed heads that are able to see in 360 degrees (all around them).
6. Differences in Color
Crocodile hides are often a light tan or olive tint, whereas alligator skins can be either dark blackish-grey tone.
The colour of an alligator’s skin is influenced by the quality of water it swims in; tanninic acid from overhanging trees makes them darker while algae make them greener.
7. Which faster at running and swimming: an alligator or a crocodile?
On land, both can travel swiftly but only for short distances. They each have the capacity to “gallop” and “sprint,” but when threatened or in danger they are limited by their relatively shorter limbs compared with other animals that walk on four legs like them. A crocodile’s top speed is around 9 mph (14 kph), while an alligator has a slightly better racing ability topping out at 11mph (18kph).
It makes sense then why these two creatures find themselves so well suited to life underwater where it’s easier to swim away from predators than stay put! Crocodiles could be found swimming up to speeds of about 9 miles per hour whereas Alligators may achieve 20 miles per hour.
8. Is an alligator or a crocodile more aggressive?
Alligators are not as aggressive and quick to attack as crocodiles. When a human gets in the way of an alligator, they will usually try to get away by swimming towards some water.
Wild alligators don’t normally bother humans unless they’re startled or defending their young from something else that’s getting too close for comfort!
Alligators are naturally terrified of humans, but with regular contact they can lose some part of their dread.
Feeding them is usually a bad idea because it will make the alligator perceive humans as food sources and be less scared to come near you. Crocodiles though have an even worse temperament than Alligators do and are more prone to attack people out if nowhere for no reason at all so take caution when approaching those creatures!
The most dangerous crocodiles in the world are saltwater crocodiles from Australia, followed by Nile crocs. American crocs on the other hand, are among the least shy of all species and will attack humans if they come too close to their habitat.
They’re also more likely than an Australian or Egyptian croc to be found near a human dwelling place since they mainly inhabit fresh water habitats like swamps where people live nearby!
Is it true that alligators and crocodiles belong to the same species?
Alligators, caimans, gharai and crocodiles are all members of the Crocodilia order. These huge reptiles live in semiaquatic environments where they prey on fish and smaller animals for food.
Though there is a lot of debate over what “crocodilians” really mean due to their confusing taxonomy system which can be traced back to Linnaeus’s classification (this will not get into that), it seems like only some species classified as such actually have crocs!
Which is more powerful, an alligator or a crocodile? Who would win if they fought?
While crocodiles and alligators are often lumped together, there is a lot that sets them apart. Alligator bites have been measured at 3,700 pounds of force per square inch–a respectable but not unmatched level for the strongest bite in nature.
But Crocodile jaws can exert 2,900 psi on average! That’s more than twice as powerful an alligator’s jaw strength! So if you ever find yourself swimming with one of these terrifying creatures (or out hunting it), be extra careful around their mouth-and they will also likely prove to be much larger too.
A crocodile’s size is just one of the many reasons why they are more dangerous than an alligator. They can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and be over 23 feet long! The largest known American Alligators have only reached 1,000 pounds with a length of 19 feet.
The reason for their size difference stems from how each animal behaves in different situations- both equally aggressive but crocs will attack if provoked while Gators won’t do so as often or spontaneously without provocation first.
Which is the most hazardous to humans?
The Nile crocodile, with its deadly bite and the ability to take down human prey in a heartbeat, is hands-down the most terrifying creature out there. In fact, according to CrocBITE – which carefully tracks all of these attacks throughout the world – it’s not even close: since 2000 alone 33 humans have been killed by American gators/crocs working together while 268 died from just Nile crocs.
Are there any alligators or crocodiles in Florida?
The quick answer is that Florida has both, but alligators outnumber crocodiles. Alligators are found throughout the state of Florida, mostly in freshwater environments such as swamps and rivers. Crocodiles can be found only in the southernmost tip of Florida with an estimated population of less than 2,000. They reside primarily around brackish or salt water settings.