Alligator vs Crocodile: What's the Difference Between Both? (2022)

What’s the difference between alligator and crocodile? How can you tell?

These are the two most common questions people ask about crocodilians. There really is no one, simple answer!

Alligators and crocodiles are roughly twice as evolutionarily distant as cats and dogs.

Our furry friends last shared a common ancestor around 42 million years ago. Genetic and fossil evidence suggests that crocodiles and alligators separated around 90 million years ago.

Over the years since they split, crocodiles and alligators have both occupied similar ecological roles.

Both groups are specially adapted to lurk in shallow water. They ambush prey such as fish, birds, and mammals.

Their overall body shape – or “morphology” – is well suited for this role. For the most part, it has remained relatively similar as a result. If it’s not broken, why fix it?

Still, like cats and dogs, crocodiles and alligators have many distinct morphological differences.

Unfortunately, there are no hard-and-fast rules, and each has one or more exceptions.

Once you know what to look for, it’s still reasonably easy to tell the difference between crocs and gators.

We’ll explain all of the significant differences in this guide, including the differences in size, snout characteristics, and teeth.

We’ll also discuss some of the more unusual – and lesser-known – crocs, such as gharials, false gharials, dwarf crocodiles, and caimans.

To briefly summarize, here’s a helpful diagram regarding one of the most distinctive visual differences:

Alligator vs Crocodile: What's the Difference Between Both? (1)

In This Article

Background: The Crocodilian Family Tree

Crocodilians (crocs, alligators, gharials, and caimans) are only distantly related to other reptiles.

In fact, they are far more closely related to birds!

Birds, dinosaurs, and crocodilians belong to a group called the “Archosaurs” or “ruling reptiles.”

The archosaurs split from other reptiles – such as snakes and lizards – in the late Devonian period over 250 million years ago.

Fun Fact: Their complex physiology suggests that early crocodilians may have been warm-blooded, indicating that cold-bloodedness “re-evolved” in the ancestors of modern crocs!

The ancestors of modern crocs comprised a diverse group of animals.

During the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, there were many crocodile-like animals – of all different shapes and sizes.

Among them were giant filter-feeders, armored herbivores, and even slender, dog-like creatures!

Some prehistoric croc ancestors even roamed the open seas. They had elongated bodies and fin-like tail projections.

Today, only around 25 species remain. They’re known as the crocodilians.

Several new crocodilian species have been recently described. More are likely to follow in the next few years.

All of the surviving crocodilian species belong to one of three families:

  • Gavialidae – Gharials and false gharials; the last surviving remnants of an ancient group of slender-snouted crocodilians
  • Alligatoridae – Alligators and caimans
  • Crocodilidae – Crocodiles, slender-snouted crocodiles, and dwarf crocodiles

There are a few critical morphological differences between crocodiles and alligators.

For instance, alligators have integumentary sensory organs (ISOs, which appear as tiny black dots on the skin) only on their jaws.

Crocs have ISOs scattered around their entire body.

(Video) ALLIGATOR VS CROCODILE - Which is More Powerful?

All members of the croc family also possess lingual salt glands. Alligators lack these altogether.

Unfortunately, these aren’t excellent characteristics for identifying crocs or alligators. Both would require you to get up-close and personal!

In the next section, we’ll discuss the best ways to distinguish crocs from gatorsbut remember that there are no perfect methods.

Alligators Have A “U-Shaped”, Crocodiles Have A “V-Shaped” Snout

Snout shape is one of the key differences that allow us to distinguish most crocodiles from alligators.

Most crocodiles have a “V-shaped” snout. It’s broader towards the back of the head and narrower towards the tip. Their teeth also interlock when the mouth is closed.

Alligators have more “U-shaped” snouts. These are broader and more curved, as opposed to pointed.

The mugger crocodile is a notable exception to this rule. It possesses a broad, “U-shaped” snout compared to other crocodiles.

The mugger croc only lives in Southeast Asia, Pakistan, and the Indian subcontinent – areas uninhabited by alligators.

Extremely large, adult saltwater and Nile crocodiles can also have less angular snouts than other crocs. They belong to the largest crocodiles ever recorded. But again, their ranges don’t overlap with gators.

Alligator vs Crocodile: What's the Difference Between Both? (2)

Alligators Have Overbite While Crocodiles Have Interlocking Teeth

Teeth are also a helpful characteristic for distinguishing crocs from gators.

Alligators (usually) have an “overbite.” Their upper jaw overhangs slightly above the lower jaw.

When the mouth is closed, this often means that only the teeth on the upper jaw are visible.

Some alligators can break this rule with large, protruding lower teeth. This is relatively uncommon. Caiman, on the other hand, often have teeth similar to those of a crocodile.

Crocodiles possess interlocking teeth. The teeth of both the upper and lower jaws remain visible when the mouth is closed.

Crocs also have a noticeably enlarged fourth tooth on either side of the lower jaw. This tooth fits into a unique groove on the upper jaw when the mouth is closed and remains visible.

Alligators also possess an enlarged fourth tooth, but it fits into a groove inside of the upper jaw, meaning that it is NOT visible when the animal’s mouth is closed. Read our article on alligator teeth to get every detail and even if you can (or should) purchase them.

Crocodiles Are Larger Than Alligators

As a general rule, crocodiles are larger than alligators. There’s a considerable amount of size overlap between the two families.

The Australian saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the biggest of all crocodilians alive today.

The largest crocodile ever recorded was Lolong, who measured a whopping 20 ft (6 m) in length and weighed over 2,000 lbs!

Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) and American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) are other close contenders, regularly exceeding 16 ft (around 5 m) in length.

The dwarf caiman (a member of the alligator family) is the smallest crocodilian species, topping out at just over five feet (1.5 m) in length.

Dwarf crocodiles are only slightly larger – measuring up to around six feet.

The black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) is the largest member of the alligator family. It can reach proportions close to those of the largest crocodiles, also exceeding 16 ft in length.

Are Crocodiles and Alligators Related?

Crocodiles and alligators are closely related. They’re both members of the order Crocodylia. In fact, all crocodilians, including gharials and caimans, belong to this order.

Originally, crocodiles and alligators were grouped into the same family as well. However, scientists have since split them into two separate families.

Alligators and Caimans belong to the family Alligatoridae, and crocodiles belong to the family Crocodylidae.

Gavials and Gharials are also close relatives of the crocodile, and they belong to the family Gavialidae in the same order.

Minor differences in the anatomy and habits of each of these families sets them apart from their relatives.

Alligator vs. Crocodile vs. Caiman vs. Gharial

The distinction between alligator vs. crocodile vs. caiman is an evolutionary one.

Alligators are members of a different family to crocodiles, but the alligator family (Alligatoridae) includes both alligators and caimans.

The “true” alligators (genus: Alligator) are native to North America and a small part of China. There are only two species: the American and Chinese alligators.

(Video) How to tell an alligator from a crocodile

Caimans are native to Central and South America. There are six caiman species.

All members of the alligator family lack salt glands and are unable to survive in saltwater for extended periods.

Alligators (Genus: Alligator)

Alligators are dark, broad-snouted crocodilians native to North America and a small region of China. The genus Alligator includes only two extant (living) species:

  • The Chinese Alligator (sinensis) – A relatively small species, now critically endangered in the wild. They possess dark greyish skin and a short, shovel-like snout.
  • The American Alligator (mississippiensis) – A large, robust species that can grow to 15 ft and weigh over 1,000 lbs. They’re also dark greyish, but with a slightly longer snout than the Chinese alligator. They were formerly endangered in the US, but are now thriving as a result of sustainable management.

Caimans (Genera: Caiman, Paleosuchus, and Melanosuchus)

Caimans are members of the alligator family endemic to Central and South America. This group includes a few different genera:

  • The Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger)Enormous, black, and alligator-like animals with distinctive spots on their lower jaw.
  • The Dwarf Caimans (Genus: Paleosuchus)The smallest of all crocodilians. Both species are dark brown with a covering of sharp spines.
  • The Spectacled, Yacaré, and Broad-Snouted Caimans (Genus: Caiman)Medium-sized animals that live throughout Central and South America. They all possess a distinctive pointed projection above each eye.


Crocodiles are members of “Crocodilidae” – a family separate from the alligators.

Crocs inhabit tropical habitats around the globe. Some only inhabit freshwater wetlands, while others (like the Australian saltwater croc) can venture into saltwater for long periods.

The crocodile family includes three different genera:

  • The Crocodiles (Genus: Crocodylus) – This group contains the largest of all crocodilian species. Most are olive-brown or greyish with a triangular head and interlocking teeth. Some inhabit freshwater environments only, while others can spend extended periods at sea.
  • The Dwarf Crocodiles (Genus: Osteolaemus) – Small, broad-snouted crocodiles native to Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Slender-Snouted Crocodiles (Genus: Mecistops) – Elusive, medium-sized crocodiles native to West Africa. They possess a slender, highly-tapered snout (hence their name), making them appear similar to gharials and false gharials.

Crocodile species range in length from 6 ft (approx. 2 m) to over 20 ft (6 m).

Gharials and False Gharials

Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) are probably the most unusual of all crocodilians.

Alligator vs Crocodile: What's the Difference Between Both? (3)

Native to India and Nepal, these gigantic fish-eaters possess a highly elongated, slender snout filled with sharp, needle-like teeth.

Mature male gharials also boast an unusual projection at the very tip of their snout.

This strange lump – known as the “Ghara” – helps them produce distinctive noises during the breeding season. People usually describe this as a sort of loud “pong.”

Gharials are highly distinctive and cannot be mistaken for any other crocodilian within their range.

They do look similar to the Southeast Asian “false” gharial – or Tomistoma. Despite being “gharial-like” in appearance, the Tomistoma was only recently added to the gharial family.

The exact classification of the Tomistoma has been hotly debated over the past few decades.

American Crocodile vs. American Alligator

Two crocodilians are native to Florida: the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) and the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

In this section, we’ll compare and contrast these two different species and explain a few easy ways to identify crocodilians in Florida.

The American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)

Range and Habitat:

American crocs mostly live throughout South and Central America. There is also a crocodile population of around 2000 individuals in South Florida.

Like all crocodiles, American crocs are a tropical species. They require warm temperatures year-round to survive.

This requirement limits their range to only the warmest parts of Florida. Though gators live throughout the state, crocs only venture as far north as the Tampa Bay area.

Unlike alligators, American crocs can tolerate long periods in saltwater. You’ll usually find them in mangrove swamps along the coast.


American crocs are among the largest of all crocodilians.

Adult males can reach lengths of up to 20 ft (6 m).

These days, crocs rarely – if ever – achieve such a size. Nowadays, the largest individuals seen in the wild are around 16 ft (5 m).


An American crocodile’s skin is usually light olive or grey.

Like most “true” crocs, they possess a long, triangular head.

Their snouts are slender, with large, interlocking teeth visible when the mouth is open or closed.

While young crocodiles often appear more slender than alligators, adults do become broader with age. Large males can also develop wider, more robust-looking jaws.

(Video) Difference Between Alligator and Crocodile? | Cayman Animal

American crocodiles usually possess a slight hump between the eyes and the nostrils, making them appear slightly different from Nile or saltwater crocodiles.

Relationship with Humans:

Due to their large size, American crocodiles can hunt larger prey than most alligators, making them more of a threat to humans and livestock.

This species is responsible for the majority of fatal crocodile attacks in Central and South America.

Even still, they’re considerably more docile than their Australian and African counterparts.

The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Range and Habitat:

Gators inhabit coastal wetlands throughout Florida and the rest of the Southeastern United States.

These habitats include freshwater marshes, lakes, swamps, and slow-flowing rivers.


The largest alligator ever recorded measured 15 ft and 9 inches and weighed over 1,000 lbs.

Though the largest alligators can top 15 ft in length, they rarely do. Even gators above nine or ten feet are a moderately rare sight.


Alligators’ skin is dark black or greyish brown. Their underside is a much lighter cream or yellowish color.

They possess a large, “U-shaped” head, usually with a slight overbite. The teeth of their lower jaw are typically out of sight when their mouths are closed.

Relationship with Humans:

In Florida, alligators are so widely distributed that it’s safe to assume that any body of water in the Sunshine State could contain one or more alligators.

Still, for the most part, alligators are either too small or too skittish to pose a threat to humans.

Large alligators do occasionally launch unprovoked attacks on humans. Fatal attacks are sporadic, with only around 25 having been reported since the 1920s!

Aggressive behavior is most common in areas where humans feed alligators. Feeding alligators causes them to learn to associate us with food rather than to be afraid.

Croc, Caiman, or Gator? Easily Identifying Crocodilians in Florida

South Florida is the only place in the world where crocodiles (C. acutus) and alligators (A. mississippiensis) naturally coexist.

More recently, the state has also become home to a population of non-native spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodylus).

For now, Caimans have only been found in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

All three are pretty elusive animals, making them difficult to spot in the wild.

If you do spot a croc, caiman, or gator, you’ll often only be able to glimpse its eyes and snout before it sinks beneath the surface of the water.

In these instances, a pointed “brow” above each eye is characteristic of the non-native spectacled caiman. Native crocs and gators’ eyes are more rounded in appearance.

Alligator vs Crocodile: What's the Difference Between Both? (4)

If you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the animal’s body, remember that gators are much darker in color than American crocodiles or spectacled caiman.

If its skin appears near-black in color, it’s likely to be an alligator.

The croc and caiman have similar greyish brown coloration and can be hard to distinguish. To tell the difference, note the animal’s size and head shape.

Spectacled caiman have not been known to exceed 9 ft in length, even in their native range. Crocodiles can reach lengths of up to 20 ft.

Caimans also possess a broader, more rounded snout. Though not as broad as an alligator’s, the caiman’s snout is far more “U-shaped” than the American crocodile’s.

Lastly, most adult American crocs possess a large, smooth bump between their nostrils and eyes. This bump is lacking from both caimans and alligators.

(Video) Alligator vs Crocodile!

Alligator vs Crocodile: What's the Difference Between Both? (5)

To learn more about Florida’s reptiles, check out our complete guide to Florida snakes and our list of native Florida lizards.

Alligator vs. Crocodile Fight

Crocs and gators coexist in (relative) peace and harmony in South Florida. They’re sometimes housed together in captivity.

Both are generalist predators. They will happily prey on any animal small enough to be overpowered and eaten (including other crocodilians).

Depredation of juvenile crocs or gators by adults is a fairly common occurrence.

These animals are highly territorial, and adults will fight to solve disputes and even maintain social hierarchies.

Their fights can – and do – inevitably occur as species compete for food or territory.

In Florida, where American alligators live alongside American crocodiles, no inter-species depredations have yet been reported.

American crocodile vs. American alligator conflicts have been observed in captive enclosures.

There are also reports of critically endangered Orinoco crocodiles preying on juvenile spectacled caiman in Columbia and Venezuela.

Fun Fact: Crocs and gators aren’t the only predators found in Florida’s waterways. There have been numerous reports of conflict between bull sharks and alligators in Florida.

Crocodile vs. Alligator – Who Would Win?

Crocodile vs. Alligator – Who Would Win?” is a question that immediately springs to mind when many people hear of American crocs and gators living side by side in Florida (or caimans and Orinoco crocs battling things out in South America).

There’s no question that the winner of any crocodilian fight comes down to size.

The largest, most powerful crocodiles dwarf the largest alligators by as much as five feet.

As adult crocodiles grow, they also gain a lot of weight! A fully grown male saltwater crocodile can weigh over twice as much as even the largest alligators.

Strangely, however, some zookeepers report that large alligators tend to dominate similarly-sized American crocs in captivity!

Are Crocodiles or Alligators More Dangerous?

Crocodile attacks can be a severe problem for people who spend time in and around croc-inhabited waterways.

The most aggressive (and therefore dangerous) crocodilians – in terms of human depredation – are the Nile and Saltwater crocodiles.

Unfortunately, rural communities in developing countries are disproportionately affected by human-crocodile conflicts.

It’s also tricky for scientists to accurately estimate the number of incidents per year, as many attacks go unreported.

Nile crocodiles may be responsible for hundreds of human fatalities per year, though data on the subject are lacking.

In the United States, attacks by crocodilians do happen, but they’re a relatively rare occurrence.

More people are killed in Florida by lightning strikes (per year) than alligators.

Crocodilian-related incidents in the US usually involve alligators.

This statistic is NOT due to alligators being more aggressive than crocs, but due to them being more widespread.

Most attacks occur while people are wading, swimming, or fishing in shallow water.

The best ways to prevent alligator attacks are:

  • NEVER feed or harass wild alligators
  • Keep pets away from the water’s edge
  • Swim only during daylight hours and with a friend
  • Stay out of water bodies that aren’t designated for swimming, particularly murky water, lakes, or slow-flowing rivers
  • If you MUST enter the water, use a sturdy walking stick or branch to prod before you step. This tool may help you to avoid stepping on an alligator

For more safety advice and information about crocodile and alligator attacks in Florida, check out this helpful guide produced by the CrocDocs team at the University of Florida.

Are Crocodiles More Aggressive Than Alligators?

Yes, crocodiles are more aggressive than alligators.

While both animals could give you a thrashing, alligators tend to be timider. They’d rather avoid you than eat you (in most cases).

Crocodiles are intentional predators with short tempers. They have a reputation for attacking people, other animals, and even boats that move near them.

While the crocodile isn’t always hungry, it spends its life in attack mode. Alligators are generally much calmer.

(Video) Difference between Crocodile and Alligator | Alligator Vs Crocodile

For general information about crocodilians and other reptiles, check out our top five books on herpetology.

What else would you like to know about crocodilians? Tell us in the comment section below.


Alligator vs Crocodile: What's the Difference Between Both? ›

One of the main differences between alligators and crocodiles is the snout. The alligator's is broader and shaped like a U, whereas the crocodile's is longer and narrower and more V-shaped.

What is the difference between alligator and crocodile? ›

The most obvious way to discern the two reptiles is to stare down their sinister snouts. Alligators have U-shaped faces that are wide and short, while crocodiles have slender almost V-shaped muzzles. And if you're daring enough, take a gander at their chompers.

What is the difference and similarities between an alligator and a crocodile? ›

Crocodiles have longer and thinner snouts than alligators. Alligators are freshwater animals, while crocodiles live in saltwater. The teeth of a crocodile are visible, even when the crocodile's mouth is closed, while alligator teeth are invisible until the mouth is open.

What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile Wikipedia? ›

The easiest way to distinguish crocodiles from alligators is by looking at their jaw line. The teeth on the lower jaw of an alligator fit into sockets in the upper jaw, so only the upper teeth are visible when the mouth is closed.

Can you tell a gator from a croc answer key? ›

An alligator's wider upper jaw overlaps its lower jaw when it closes its mouth. Because of this its teeth don't show. A crocodile's upper and lower jaw, however, are about the same width. So when a crocodile closes its mouth some of its teeth still show.

Which is stronger alligator or crocodile? ›

Crocodiles win the fight because they're bigger, stronger, and more aggressive than alligators. Although the chances of them meeting are not great due to population differences and ranges, a match between these two heavyweights could happen in southern Florida.

Which is bigger crocodile or alligator? ›

Crocodiles are the larger species and fully-grown will be up to a metre longer than even large alligators. They are also a lighter colour and have long, v-shaped snouts. This v-shaped snout also gives crocodiles a rather toothy grin.

What do crocodiles and alligators have in common? ›

Both crocodiles and alligators have a number of physical and behavioural similarities. These are: They're reptiles that can live on land or in water, though are most at home in the water, and able to hold their breath for up to an hour.

Does a crocodile have a tongue? ›

Their tongues are not free, but held in place by a membrane that limits movement; as a result, crocodiles are unable to stick out their tongues. Crocodiles have smooth skin on their bellies and sides, while their dorsal surfaces are armoured with large osteoderms.

Can a crocodile and alligator mate? ›

Question: Can alligators and crocodiles mate? Answer: No, they can't. Although they look similar, they are genetically too far apart. Although related, they split into separate genera a long time ago.

Do crocodiles and alligators live together? ›

They are found all over the world. The Florida Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles live together. The largest crocodile, the Australian saltwater crocodile, can get up to 18 feet long.

Do alligators have balls? ›

The male reptiles, like all other vertebrates, have paired gonads that produce sperm and testosterone. Reptiles carry their testicles or testes internally, often in close proximity to the kidneys.

What kills a crocodile? ›

Due to the large size and highly aggressive nature of these apex predators, adult crocodiles have very few predators within their natural environments with the exception of occasional takings by big cats such as lions, jaguars and tigers.

Can crocodiles be friendly? ›

In the first scientific study of crocodiles at play, he found they are capable of forming playful relationships, not only with each other but with other species such as river otters and even humans. “A man who rescued a crocodile that had been shot in the head became close friends with the animal.

Does Florida have alligators or crocodiles? ›

Alligators are more numerous in Florida than crocodiles, are darker, have a broader snout, and are typically found in freshwater habitats. Crocodiles, on the other hand, are rare and secretive creatures that inhabit coastal, brackish, and salt-water habitats.

Do alligators eat each other? ›

Alligators often eat each other for a variety of reasons; whether it be territorial, for survival or something else entirely. Alligators are infamously vicious apex predators that belong to a select group of animals that partake in cannibalism. This describes the act of an animal eating a member of the same species.

Do alligators eat humans? ›

It's never a good idea to get purposefully close to an alligator, tempt, or provoke it in any way. However, alligator attacks are fairly rare—and they eat people even less commonly. Only a small fraction of attacks are deadly, and often the remains are found intact after an attack.

Who would win a crocodile or a shark? ›

A great white shark would win a fight against a saltwater crocodile. These deadly creatures are incredibly powerful, but the great white shark has an amazing advantage in the water. Not only would this animal probably notice the crocodile first, but it also has the speed to land a devastating attack.

Who would win an alligator or a shark? ›

Sharks are larger, stronger, and more powerful than alligators. The fight would start with the shark sensing the alligator in the water with its powerful sense of smell. It would rush towards it, driving all of its weight into the alligator while landing a bone-breaking bite.

Do crocodiles eat people? ›

The two species with the most well-known and documented reputation for preying on humans are the Nile crocodile and saltwater crocodile, and these are the perpetrators of the vast majority of both fatal and non-fatal crocodilian attacks.

Are alligators afraid of humans? ›

Alligators have a natural fear of humans, and usually begin a quick retreat when approached by people. If you have a close encounter with an alligator a few yards away, back away slowly. It is extremely rare for wild alligators to chase people, but they can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances on land.

Is a crocodile a dinosaur? ›


Well, crocodiles share a heritage with dinosaurs as part of a group known as archosaurs (“ruling reptiles”), who date back to the Early Triassic period (250 million years ago). The earliest crocodilian, meanwhile, evolved around 95 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period.

Which is more aggressive crocodile or alligator? ›

Crocodiles are often regarded as much more aggressive than alligators. While you should avoid contact with both animals at all costs, alligators in the Everglades tend to be more docile than crocodiles, only attacking if hungry or provoked.

What came first alligator or crocodile? ›

Crocodiles Are Slightly Older Than Alligators

Crocodiles can be traced back from around 70 million years ago to the late Cretaceous period. But, their ancestry goes back even farther than that. The animals that would later become crocodiles can be traced back to the Jurassic period.

Why are crocodiles so aggressive? ›

Brien said aggression in saltwater crocodiles is “hardwired from hatching” but there is no clear explanation why the species is so short-tempered. One theory is that competition with other crocodiles, combined with its sheer size, has instilled the aggression.

What animal Cannot move its tongue? ›

Crocodile's tongue

Crocodiles have a membrane that holds their tongue in place on the roof of their mouth so it doesn't move. This makes it impossible for them to stick it outside of their narrow mouths.

What animal Cannot stick its tongue out? ›

A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out. It's firmly attached to the bottom of their mouth.

Can alligators smell period blood? ›

Like bears, gators can smell the menstruation, which will put your entire party at risk.

Can crocodiles and alligators mate? ›

Question: Can alligators and crocodiles mate? Answer: No, they can't. Although they look similar, they are genetically too far apart. Although related, they split into separate genera a long time ago.

Do alligators eat humans? ›

It's never a good idea to get purposefully close to an alligator, tempt, or provoke it in any way. However, alligator attacks are fairly rare—and they eat people even less commonly. Only a small fraction of attacks are deadly, and often the remains are found intact after an attack.

Do crocodiles eat humans? ›

The two species with the most well-known and documented reputation for preying on humans are the Nile crocodile and saltwater crocodile, and these are the perpetrators of the vast majority of both fatal and non-fatal crocodilian attacks.

Can alligators and crocodiles live together? ›

They are found all over the world. The Florida Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles live together. The largest crocodile, the Australian saltwater crocodile, can get up to 18 feet long.

Alligators vs. crocodiles is one of the most common reptile-related comparisons out there. Read this guide to learn about all of their differences!

That said, when it comes to alligators vs. crocodiles, crocodiles tend to be considerably larger as a whole.. In the crocodile vs. alligator comparison, many curious reptile lovers want to know which animal has a more powerful bite.. Crocodiles can be several feet bigger than alligators while weighing nearly twice as much.. Another difference between alligators and crocodiles is their teeth and jaws structure.. You’ll hear many zoologists referring to alligators and crocodiles as living fossils.. Remember, one of the differences between alligators and crocodiles is that alligators can tolerate a broader range of temperatures.. The differences between alligators and crocodiles are actually rather significant, with each creature making their own distinct mark on the animal kingdom.

Learn how to spot the difference between alligators and crocodiles as they are similar to each other in size, behavior, and appearance.

AlligatorCrocodileSize14 feet17 feetWeight500 to 1000 pounds800 to 1000+ poundsColorDark Green or BlackLight Green, Brown or Light GreySnoutRounded U shapeTriangular V shapeTeethOnly shows top teethFive visible bottom teethSatesMost southeast states (i.e. from east Texas to North Carolina)FloridaIn the United States, both alligators and crocodiles tend to be shy and timid.. American AlligatorColor is one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between crocodiles and alligators.. American alligators are smaller than crocodiles.. Snout and jaw shape are the easiest way to tell the difference between alligators and crocodiles.. Unlike a crocodile, the alligator’s jaw closes downwards and you can only see their top teeth.. Temperature is the reason why the American alligator lives in more states than a crocodile.. The American alligator’s northernmost range reaches North Carolina vs. the American crocodile’s northernmost range of the southern tip of Florida.. American alligator ( Alligator mississipiensis ) American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ). Crocodiles should never be approached or disturbed.Larger crocodiles such as the Nile and Saltie are known for their attacks on humans.. You should now be able to tell the difference between an alligator vs crocodile.. The main thing to remember is that alligators and crocodiles are different species.

What's the difference between alligators and crocodiles? Check out our complete alligator vs crocodile guide to get the answer once and for all.

Or is it a crocodile?. These animals are semiaquatic (able to live on both land and water) and are known to be excellent stealth hunters with keen vision and powerful jaws.. While there are only two living species of alligators, there are over a dozen species of crocodiles found around the world.. Like all reptiles, crocodilians are cold-blooded and use their environment to help regulate their body temperature (e.g,.. One major difference between alligator and crocodile species is their snouts.. Unlike their alligator cousins, crocodiles can live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats .. Lest you think all crocodilians do is slink through the water looking for prey, think again.. Crocodiles are considered the most social species of reptiles.. So how can you tell the difference between alligator and crocodile species?

We take a look at crocodile vs alligator. We tell you the difference and cover everything to know in our complete guide.

However, there are several differences between them that make them distinct species from one another.. However, due to the murky water and mud-caked bottom of the body of water, it isn’t always easy to tell what color the creature is.. Saltwater crocodiles, for example, tend to be green and live in bodies of water that have a green shade to them.. Since they tend to live in saltwater, they have a lot of space in which to grow.. Both tend to stay in the water which can make seeing their whole size difficult.. That makes determining its snout shape a lot more reliable in terms of identifying it than trying to measure its body’s length.. This makes them better swimmers than alligators which is likely why they live in larger bodies of water.. The difference between the two is that the alligator can live in colder temperatures than the crocodile.. Crocodiles tend to be more aggressive than alligators.. Their aggression also differs based on the species of crocodile.. Here are some similarities between the alligator and the crocodile.. Both crocodiles and alligators prefer to live in or near the water.. Both crocodiles and alligators prefer to kill and eat their prey in two bites.

What's the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? They are both large, superficially similar reptiles belonging to the same order: the...

They are both large, superficially similar reptiles belonging to the same order: the crocodilians.. Crocodiles and alligators are large, superficially similar reptiles belonging to the same order: the crocodilians.. South Florida is home to both the American alligator and the American crocodile.. Alligators and crocodiles, of course.. – CROCODILES and alligators are some of the planet’s oldest living creatures.. South Florida is the only place you can find both animals in the wild.. To distinguish the two, alligators have a more U-shaped snout while crocodiles have a more pointed or V-shaped one.. In addition, alligators are black, while crocodiles are usually a lighter grayish brown.Learn More:American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). Florida may be the only place you’ll find both creatures within the wild.

When it comes to alligators vs crocodiles, what are the differences between them? To the untrained eye they look the same. Let's find out.

In the crocodilian order, there are the caiman and gharial, as well as several species of crocodile and two species of alligator.. You likely are familiar with some of the more well-known species of crocodilians, such as the American alligator, the American crocodile, the Nile crocodile and the Saltwater crocodile, but there are actually 14 different species of crocodile.. American Crocodiles are only found in very Southern Florida.. American Alligator In the United States, American Alligators stick to freshwater systems.. However most of the crocodilian attacks on humans in the world are caused by crocodiles like the Saltwater crocodile or the Nile crocodile.. But the alligators do have six different species of very close relatives; the caiman.. However, the Black Caiman can grow to be as large as 13 feet long.. The text-book way to tell the difference between the two is the jaw or snout shape.

Alligators and crocodiles are often confused for being the same animal. They look very similar, share common behaviors and both belong to the order Crocodi

Alligators have U-shaped snouts.The easiest way to tell the difference between a crocodile vs alligator is by the way their snouts are shaped.. Alligators have an overbite, and you can only see their top teeth.The jawlines of alligators and crocodiles are different because of the way their teeth and snouts are shaped.. Alligator and crocodile ColorsAlligatorCrocodileBlackLight TanDark GrayOlive Crocodiles are 14 to 17 feet on average.Alligators and crocodiles are among the largest reptiles in the world.. Alligator versus crocodile size comparisonAlligatorCrocodileSize8 to 11 feet14 to 17 feetWeightup to 1,000 poundsup to 2,000 pounds Alligators are fast and can reach speeds up to 25 mph in water.Despite the fact that they are often seen basking in the sun, or slowly swimming through water, these reptiles are fast!. Alligators and crocodile speedAlligatorCrocodileRunning30 mph20 mphSwimming25 mph18 mph Most crocodiles (right) live in salty water.Alligators and crocodiles are both reptiles that spend a lot of time both in and out of the water.. There are only two species of alligator and over 17 species of crocodiles.. AlligatorCrocodileSnoutU-shaped snout that is flat and straight at the front.V-shaped snout that is pointed at the front.TeethOnly their top teeth can be seen when their mouth is closed.Top and bottom teeth are always visible, even when its mouth is closed.JawlineOverbiteToothy grinColorBlack and darker shades of gray.Vary in shades of green, olive and tan.Size8 to 11 feet14 to 17 feetWeightup to 1,000 poundsup to 2,000 poundsSpeed30 mph on land25 mph on landHabitatFreshwater swamps and pondsEstuaries, rivers, and large lakes with the occasional brackish swamp.StatesFlorida, Louisiana, the coast of North and South Carolina, southern Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.Southern tip of Florida.US Population1 million +20,000FamilyAlligatoridaeCrocodylidaeAggressionMore timid around humansAggressive, unpredictable and far more likely to attackBite force3,000 psi3,700 psi Alligators are territorial and will defend their home.. Although alligators are quicker in the water and on land, if pit against each other it is likely that the crocodile would overpower an alligator.. The main difference between alligators and crocodiles is alligators have a U-shaped snout and you can only see their top teeth when their mouth is closed because of their overbite.

Alligator vs crocodile, what's the difference? Well you've come to right place! Here's the simple answer and the more complex answer.

What’s the difference between an alligator vs a crocodile,. and how do I remember which is which?. The. term crocodile refers to any crocodilian, so this means that technically all. alligators are crocodiles, but not all crocodiles are alligators.. In the US, alligators are the more. common of the two (there are 3 million alligators and less than 2,000. crocodiles in the US).. Alligators and crocodiles also have. different habitats.. Alligators. live in freshwater, but crocodiles live in saltwater or brackish water (water. that is a mix of freshwater and saltwater).. While both. alligators and crocodiles have these glands, alligators’ glands are. non-functioning, and they cannot excrete enough excess salt to live in salt. water.. Alligator snouts are shorter,. broader and U-shaped, while crocodile snouts are longer, narrower, and. V-shaped.. Another way to tell the difference between an alligator vs a. crocodile is to look at its teeth.. When its mouth is. closed an alligator’s bottom teeth are hidden, and a crocodile’s bottom teeth. are not.. Alligators and Crocodiles also differ in size and weight.. Fun Fact: The. largest crocodile is the saltwater crocodile and the second largest is the Nile. crocodile.. Crocodiles are more. aggressive than alligators.. Alligators have broader, U-shaped snouts and are typically darker. in color, while crocodiles have narrower, V-shaped snouts and are typically. lighter in color.

Which one is bigger, stronger, more dangerous? In a fight of alligator vs. crocodile, who would win? Keep reading!

Both alligators and crocodiles tend to live in warm tropical and subtropical environments, but alligators can handle the cold a little better than crocodiles can.. Both alligators and crocodiles have been around for millions of years, but crocodiles are older than alligators.. Alligator Now we come to the million-dollar question: if a crocodile and an alligator were to fight one another, which reptile would come out on top?. Crocodiles are usually more aggressive than alligators, so a crocodile would be more likely to pick the fight while an alligator would try to escape first.. Crocodiles have a stronger, more powerful bite, so a crocodile would be most likely to deliver a killing blow to an alligator–and would probably do so more quickly than an alligator could.

Many people struggle to tell these two reptiles apart, but it isn't that difficult when you know what to look for. What is the difference between alligators and crocodiles? Well, there are essentially 8 main ways to tell them apart...

When their mouths are closed, the snouts of alligators and crocodiles are easy to tell apart, as the alligator will have none of its bottom teeth visible, whereas the crocodile’s lower fourth teeth can always be seen.. An adult crocodile can grow up to roughly 19 feet long, whereas for alligators, the maximum length is around 14 feet, so generally speaking, crocodiles are larger.. Question: Are alligators different from crocodiles?. Answer: Alligators are less aggressive than most species of crocodile, certainly towards humans.. Answer: No, they are members of the order Crocodilia, which includes alligators, crocodiles, and caiman, but they are not a true crocodile.. American crocodile and desert crocodile are not that aggressive even ancient Egyptian could tell different it from Nile crocodile .Cuban crocodile is very aggressive in alligator caiman are very aggressive black caiman well known for that may be because they are more close to Nile croc one nose hole thing.. Which is better on land Nile croc gator both hunt on land they are eusuchian mesoeucrocodylia they have eusuchian monster centra backbone joint flexible backbone like a cat .cat have disc joint some modern crocodilian are more like land crocodilian even some scientist say so like dwarf caiman no web toe small snout dinosaur temporal fenestra and one have dinosaur tail and less flat skull.Cuban croc I think has specialize leg muscle small snout they were more of a land crocodile in the past dwarf crocodile is mostly a land crocodile it can hop .mesoeucrocodylian evolve in water there is a lot of drag those fast joint easy use on land like the tail mesoeucrocodylia had advitage over dinosaur they can jump higher most early land mesoeucrocodylia keep the tail.they are 2 type of modern crocodilian crocodile and alligator crocodile is use for all croc like animal mostly crocodilian is use animal like proterosuchus dinosaur dinosauriformies pterosaur gator the scientific name is thecodont which mean crocodilian teeth .lizard has simular thecodont teeth but it’s different they are different animal lizard allso has bird teeth a more advance teeth that were you get bird link with dinosaur and the archosaur name .the true crocodilian the advance thecodont the gator mesoeucrocodylia .scientist saw how primitive dinosaur and proterosuchus pterosaur were .they lack a full palate or fully secondary bony palate.. advance eusuchian braincase bone shift jaw muscle shift only 3 toe claw .back to early mesoeucrocodylia spinosauridae nose hole is behind the kink snout spinosaurus is even more whale like .reduce nose hole in the skull .tyrannosaur like theropod has big nose hole even thou t.rex eat like gator and have full palate it’s skull is more like other theropod bird like spinosauridae skull was just like other mesoeucrocodylia they were first in dinosaur to reduce antorbital fenestra and reduce nose hole nile croc does not have antorbital fenestra his nose is before kink reduce hole in the skull make the skull strong dwarf crocodile and gator both have fuse nose hole this show there is lot of stress behind kink and before kink fuse nose is primitive feature but it will make skull stronger the advance kind choose this way spinosaurus nose hole is very small spinosauridae skull is very primitive too long and thin and mammal high because they lack 6 bone fuse to braincase they can not make it in many shape to take on world and live in different place look at the gharial missing important feature in skull still strong enough to do the death roll or false gharial very flat skull no problem killing big prey it’s well known men eating .allso baryonyx has dinosaur tail a very poor swimming tail that why snout is so big .in mesoeucrocodylia bigger skull stronger the skull the gharial has biggest skull and weakes skull because missing feature second the false gharial .longer the skull bigger the palate main strength in the skull higher the skull stronger the skull is like spinosauridae dwarf caiman they have mammal like skull spinosauridae skull is very strong but could not crush metal like modern crocodilian these animal are very dangerous .spinosauridae is a tyrannosaur what the different t.rex has short secondary bony palate a weaker bite and snout is smaller another weaker feature spinosauridae has kink a primitive feature not found any tetanuran they split off early in there evolution .on gator 5 finger it’s common in marine reptile to grow there finger back and modern crocodilian is more of warm blooded animal clearly by heart spleen kidney fatty battery flow true lung and is more like top of line mammal you can see by dinosaur furcula gator well develope pectoral girdle a flight feature monster centra joint these are fast dangerous animal a normal reptile will die evolve some thing like that.on eusuchian the palate can trace to Nile crocodile today crocodilian name only use for advance eusuchian mesoeucrocodylia the 3 toe claw modern crocodilian.modern crocodilian is so fast if they do not have those monster centra joint they can die hunting a prey in a fast attack. Thank you so very much for the information that you have provided ,it has helped me a lot to learn more about Crocodiles and Alligators.. I don't agree with the claim that alligators are only found in us and in China, there are alligators in Nigeria, I don't know of every place but in my area we have alligator, though not commonly seen as the crocodiles.. I tis clear to me that crocodiles and alligators live in different places around the world but, why can there be crocodiles and alligators in the same place: The Everglades.. I now know the differences between crocodiles and alligators.. differences between alligators and crocodiles!

Both the alligator and the crocodile are reptiles and both are at home on land and in water. This article will help you to identify the differences between a crocodile vs alligator.

If you are in the United States and are out on a boat in a marsh or fresh body of water and this threatening reptile with a big jaw and long tail swims towards you.. According to David’s article, there is only one area in the United States where you will find both Alligators and Crocodiles and that is along the Southern tip of Florida.. Crocodile Teeth Not only do crocodiles have different shape snouts they have different shaped teeth.. Whereas when an alligator closes its jaw you cannot always see its teeth.. Though both alligators and crocodiles are similar in body shape, crocodiles are longer and heavier than alligators.. According to an article on, the most dangerous species of crocodiles are saltwater crocodiles in Australia.. In David’s article, he said the Dome Pressure Receptors are located on the skin of both crocodiles and alligators to detect water pressure while they swim.. In either case, both crocodiles and alligators will catch up to humans on land and in water.. Within this species, there are eight different species in this family.. Crocodiles are larger and heavier than alligators with a four to a five-foot difference in length between the two species.. Other distinct characteristics are differences in color and size.

Alligator vs Crocodile: There are many differences between alligators and crocodiles but these two reptiles have also a lot in common.

There are many differences between alligators and crocodiles , but these two reptiles also have a lot in common.. If you look closely, the alligator has a U shaped snout, and the upper jaw is wide, while that of a crocodile is V-shaped and the upper jaw somewhat sharp.. You can find an American alligator in parts of the US and China, Crocodiles in Africa, South East Asia, Australia, and the American crocodile in South America and Central America.. The crocodile has a V-shaped snout and is also longer and narrower, while the alligator has a U shaped snout, and it is also wider and blunt.. The teeth of the lower jaw of a crocodile stick out, while the lower jaw of an alligator is wide, and the teeth are not visible when the snout is closed.. The easiest way to tell a crocodile and alligator apart is when their snouts are closed.

Just a gaze at these two large reptiles from the era of dinosaurs can make anyone petrified. Just thought of encountering any of these two will take the

The U Shaped snout crocodiles varies as per the species; an African dwarf crocodile is around 6 feet long whereas the Nile saltwater crocodile can reach a length of about 20 feet.. Physical Traits: Siamese crocodile are medium-sized crocodiles; adult crocodiles are 3-4 metres in length and weigh about 250-350 kg.. Skin texture Both crocodiles and alligators have sense organs on their skin Crocodiles also possess lingual salt glands while Alligators don’t have such efficient salt glands , which leads to them sticking to freshwater Alligator skin disease (Ichthyosis vulgaris) : Its a Congenital disorders of keratin characterized by non-inflammation and scaling of the skin in Humans.. Alligators and crocodiles are both agile but Adult Alligators have higher agility than crocodiles on land and they can beat Adult crocodiles if a fight occurs on land with its sharp teeth.. crocodiles and alligators rarely encounter each other in the wild, Apart from these adult crocodiles are aggressive, they are intolerant to any activity around them; whereas alligators are quite docile in comparison to crocodiles.

Habitat - Many people tend to use the words “alligator” and “crocodile” interchangeably, implying that there is almost no difference between the two...

The teeth of a crocodile are visible, even when the crocodile’s mouth is closed, while alligator teeth are invisible until the mouth is open.. Reptiles One obvious similarity between alligators and crocodiles is that both animals are reptiles.. Alligators v crocodiles – what’s the difference?. How to tell the difference between an alligator and crocodile – Getting trouble telling alligators and crocodiles apart?. Alligator vs Crocodile – What’s the difference between Alligator and Crocodile?. What’s the difference between alligators and crocodiles?. Alligator vs Crocodile: There are many differences between alligators and crocodiles but these two reptiles have also a lot in common.. There are many differences between alligators and crocodiles, but these two reptiles also have a lot in common.. Do you know the difference between Alligators & Crocodiles?. Jaw and Snout Shape Alligator vs. Crocodile Coloring The Size Difference of the Two Reptiles Alligators vs. Crocodiles: Which is Stronger?. The Appearance of an Alligator vs. a CrocodileThere are a handful of differences between Alligators and Crocodiles, especially in appearance.. by Emma Reid On our tours, people ask A LOT of questions about alligators, but the most common question by far is, “What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?” It is important to…

Alligator vs. Crocodile: Discover their Differences and Similarities, as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Alligator vs Crocodile size, difference, pros & cons: Though from the same scientific order, Crocodilia; both alligator and crocodile belong to varying genus within that order.. Comparing crocodile vs. alligator snout, crocodiles have large snouts that are generally sharper, whereas alligators have round and short snouts.. Alligator vs. Crocodile size: An adult crocodile is around 4 to 5 feet bigger than an adult alligator.. Hence, in an ‘alligator or crocodile bigger’ query, a crocodile is always a clear winner.. Large cats like Jaguars are known to attack and eat alligators; Large serpents like pythons and anacondas; Carnivores mammals such as wild pigs; Predatory birds like eagles and egrets are known to eat baby alligators; and Lastly, large alligators are infamous for eating the baby alligators.. Some small crocodile species like Australian freshwater crocodiles also fear their life at the hands of large saltwater crocodile species.. In the alligator crocodile caiman difference, alligators and caimans belong to the same family, whereas crocodiles belong to a separate family.. BasisAlligatorsCrocodilesSnoutThey have round and short snouts.They have sharp and long snouts except for the Indian mugger crocodile that features a broad snout.Alligator vs. crocodile teethOnly their upper teeth are visible on closing the mouth.Both upper and lower teeth are visible on closing the mouth.HabitatThey are found in freshwater environments.They are found in both freshwater and saltwater environments.LengthThey can reach up to 14 feet.They can reach up to 19 feet.LifespanTheir average lifespan is 30 to 50 years.Their average lifespan is 70 to 100 years.Salt glandsTheir salt glands are not well developed and cannot function efficiently.Their salt glands are well developed and carry the power to expel a lot of salt if required.Body ColorThey are generally darker, sporting gray and black colors.They are generally lighter, sporting olive, brown, and tan colors.. The alligator and crocodile comparison reveals that crocodiles are stronger than alligators.

Alligators v crocodiles - what's the difference? Whilst at first glance alligators and crocodiles may look similar, there are a number of key differences, and some easy ways to tell them apart.

However there are also many differences between these two large reptilian apex predators , and in this article we’ll look both the difference and similarities for alligators vs crocodiles.. The Crocodylidae family includes 15 species of “true” crocodiles, and the Alligatoridae family contains eight species of alligators and caimans.. From a distance, it’s not too difficult to tell the difference between alligator and crocodile simply by looking at the shape of the snout and the visibility of the teeth.. One of the most obvious differences between alligators and crocodiles is the shape of the snout.. An alligator’s snout is broader, more rounded, and U shaped, whilst the crocodile’s snout is longer, narrower, more pointed and V shaped.. Both alligators and crocodiles are massive reptiles, though crocodiles are the larger of the two species on average.. In the US alligators vastly outnumber crocodiles, with around 3 million alligators to an estimated 2,000 crocodiles.. One of the key alligator and crocodile differences is in their preferred habitat.. This physical difference between crocodile and alligator helps explains why crocodiles have managed to colonize the islands of the Caribbean, and alligators haven’t.. Alligators belong to the Alligatoridae family which contains 8 species, and crocodiles belong to the Crocodylidae family which has 15 species.. This depends on the species and age, but the biggest crocodile is far bigger than the biggest alligator, so the crocodile would be victorious in a fight.. Both alligators and crocodiles are massive reptiles, though crocodiles are the larger of the two species on average.. Adult crocodiles are known to eat young crocodiles and young alligators.. What do you think – any difference between alligators and crocodiles that surprise you?

If you have always wanted to be able to tell the difference between an American crocodile vs American alligator, you're in the right place!

American CrocodileAmerican AlligatorGenus CrocodylusAlligator Size 10-20 feet long; 300-2,000 pounds8-11 feet long; 400-800 pounds Appearance Gray, green, or brown in color, V-shaped snoutBlack in color, U-shaped snout Location and Habitat South Florida, Central and South America; freshwater and saltwater habitatsThroughout the Southern United States; freshwater habitats Lifespan 20-70 years30-60 years The average American crocodile grows anywhere from 10-20 feet long and weighs 300-2,000 pounds, while the American alligator grows 8-11 feet long and weighs 400-800 pounds, depending on age and gender.There are many key differences between American crocodiles vs American alligators.. The American alligator is usually black in color, while the American crocodile ranges in color from green, gray, and all the way to brown.While American crocodiles and American alligators share very many similarities, they are indeed different animals based on their genus and scientific classifications.. Crocodiles grow larger than alligators on average, and this is especially evident when comparing the American crocodile and the American alligator.. Crocodiles grow larger than alligators on average, and this is especially evident when comparing the American crocodile and the American alligator.. The behavioral differences between American crocodiles and American alligators differ as well.


1. Differences Between an Alligator and Crocodile | Alligator vs Crocodile - Facts for Kids
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2. What's The Difference Between An Alligator And A Crocodile?
3. Birkbeck Explains: What is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?
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4. What's the Difference Between an Alligator and a Crocodile? - Your Kid Asked What?!? - Episode 10
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5. How is a Crocodile different from an Alligator | Compare and contrast tutorial for young children
6. ALLIGATOR VS CROCODILE - Which is Stronger?
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