differences between alligator and crocodile

10 Surprising Differences Between Alligators and Crocodiles

Crocodiles and alligators are some of the most fearsome animals in the world! In fact, they are so similar that many of us do not even know how to tell them apart. With that in mind, here are fun facts about crocodiles and alligators, and how you can spot the key variations between the two species – should you ever need to!

1. They have different tastes in homes.

The easiest way to tell a crocodile and an alligator apart is to look at where they live! The two do not – and cannot – live in the same environment. Alligators live in freshwater areas such as lakes and other bodies of water. On the other hand, crocodiles live in saltwater.

2. Location, location, location.

Crocs and alligators tend to live in disparate areas of the globe, too. Alligators are mostly found in the US and occasionally in China. However, crocodiles can be found in more diverse countries around the world – they tend to be the globetrotters!

3. All about snouts!

As similar as crocodiles and alligators may look, their snouts are actually different. Crocodiles have narrower snouts that are shaped more like the letter V. Alligators have wider snouts, although you may not have time to notice the difference if you see one coming towards you!

Difference between Crocodile and Alligator
A crocodile

4. Friendly, or not friendly?

Let’s be clear – you should never try to befriend a crocodile or an alligator! Both are incredibly strong and deadly! However, when compared to one another, crocodiles tend to be far more aggressive than alligators.

5. Taking it easy!

Another slight difference between crocodiles and alligators is that alligators tend to be pretty active! They move quickly both in and out of the water, whereas crocodiles tend to be a bit more chill! They can both swim very fast, but crocs tend to move a little more slowly.

6. Size matters!

Generally speaking, crocodiles grow to be far bigger than alligators. However, both are pretty impressive, and you’d only be able to tell the difference between two fully matured ones!

7. Open wide!

Alligators’ teeth are completely hidden when their mouths are shut. On the other hand, crocodiles usually have at least one or two teeth that hang out of their mouths when shut! While that may make them look a little goofy, we wouldn’t joke with them about it!

8. Jaws: The Revenge!

The teeth of the crocs likely hang out because of their jaw size. As mentioned, they are narrower than alligator jaws, but they’re also smaller. Alligator jaws tend to be wider, leaving plenty of space for their pearly whites!

9. All the colors of the rainbow!

Alligators are also darker than crocodiles. Gators are usually dark brown, gray, or even black. However, crocodiles are usually a lighter brown, even greenish color.

10. What are eusuchia?

While alligators and crocodiles are different in many ways, they both belong to the genetic group known as Eusuchia. They also have a third cousin called gharials. They can be found in Asian waterways, especially in India. They look a lot like their cousins but with much thinner and toothier jaws!

Difference between Crocodiles and Alligators
An alligator

FAQs about Alligators and Crocodiles?

Who would win in a fight between an alligator and a crocodile?

Although the two animals are very similar, it is likely that a crocodile would win between the two. They are quite a bit bigger, stronger, and a lot more aggressive. Thankfully, they do not live in the same regions, so we shouldn’t have to see that fight!

Can alligators mate with crocodiles?

No, crocodiles and alligators cannot mate. First of all, it would be hard for them to meet as they have different environmental requirements!

Do crocodiles and alligators live in the same place anywhere in the world?

Yes, you can find both crocodiles and alligators in the wild in the same area, in one part of the world. South Florida has both wild crocodiles and wild alligators. However, they do not live in the same waters.

Do you know any more differences between alligators and crocodiles? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on July 28, 2023. Suggest an edit