Difference Between Alligators And Crocodiles: Dragons’ closest relatives are alligators and crocodiles. They’ve been on the planet for nearly 80 million years. These living organisms haven’t changed much in terms of appearance or behavior patterns since then.
In terms of composition, behavior, and appearance, crocodiles and alligators are remarkably similar. It can be tough to tell the difference at times.This is especially true inside this southern United States, in which both species live side by side. Don’t panic if you’re bewildered by a crocodilian. There are a few small differences between alligators and crocodiles.
This article will teach you how to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile. We also include some fascinating information about the biggest, quickest, and deadliest breeds.
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Table of Content
Difference Between Alligators And Crocodiles
1. Alligators Are Dark Green Or Black: Color is one of the most straightforward ways to distinguish between crocodiles and alligators. Crocodiles appear in a variety of colors, including greenish, greyish, brown, and black. They generally have an uneven or speckled design to mix in with the algae and substrates.
Crocodiles in the United States are typically slate grey with a white to the yellow underbelly. Countershading is the term with this dark and light color. It enables them to camouflage in with the water when hunting. Other crocodile breeds come in a variety of colors, according to the colors of their surroundings.
Alligators, on the other hand, are often dark green to black. The American alligator is a gleaming dark green that, in some lights, appears nearly black. Its hue is substantially darker than that of a crocodile. Their hues will vary depending on their surroundings, much like a crocodile’s. Crocodiles prefer open water environments with a lot of algae. As a result, they are frequently available in greener tints to correspond. Alligators prefer to hang out alongside rivers and lakes. Their hues are chosen to camouflage in there with the mud and the surrounding environment.
2. Crocodiles Are Bigger Than Alligators: Crocodiles are generally larger than alligators. The saltwater crocodile is the largest, growing up to 23 feet long. The American crocodile can grow up to 20 feet long, but most are between 15 and 17 feet long. It can weigh anything between 800 and 1000 pounds.
Alligators in the United States are relatively smaller than crocodiles. Male alligators can reach lengths of 12 to 13 feet and weights of up to 1000 pounds. Females range in height from 8 to 10 feet and weight from 500 to 700 pounds.
An alligator is 4 to 6 feet longer than an American crocodile in terms of length. It might be difficult to judge an animal’s size while watching from a distance. As a result, identifying each variety by its size is one of the most challenging tasks.
3. Crocodiles Have V-Shaped Snouts: If you want to determine what kind of crocodilian you’re looking at, the snout should have been the first feature you look at. The best method to recognize the difference between alligators and crocodiles is to look at their snouts and jaws. The snouts of alligators are big and broad, resembling the letter U. The snouts of all crocodile genera are sharp and V-shaped.
The snout of a crocodile might be very large or very tiny, but it will still be pointed. In addition, rather than closing from the bottom up, their jaws close first from the top down. Because of its underbite and overbite, a crocodile’s jaw exhibits both of its top and bottom teeth in a ‘jagged’ pattern. Five of its bottom teeth can be seen if you look attentively.
The jaw of an alligator, unlike that of a crocodile, closes downwards, revealing only the top teeth. When its mouth is closed, grooves in their lower jaw conceal their bottom teeth. Of course, getting too near to a crocodile or gator to examine their fangs is not a good idea!
4. Crocodiles Have A More Powerful Bite: Crocodiles have strong, sharp teeth that are built for tearing. Crocodiles have a jaw strength of roughly 3700 pounds per square inch.
The alligator’s jaw is designed to smash rather than rip prey. This explains why their teeth are fashioned like a cone instead of a point. Their biting force is approximately 2500 psi.
5. Alligators Have Tiny Black Spots: Domed pressure sensors are found on the skin of both crocodiles and alligators. They may use these sensors to control hydrostatic pressure and sense vibrations in the water while swimming. The domed pressure receptors of alligators can be seen as tiny black patches around their jaw.
Crocodiles have translucent domed pressure receptors that are dispersed throughout their bodies. One of the explanations they swim faster in open water than gators is because of this. Crocodiles’ tongues have also salt glands, allowing them to Osmo-regulate in high-salinity environments. Salt glands are absent in alligators.
6. Alligators Can Live In Colder States: The majority of crocodile genera reside in wetlands and marshes around rivers and lakes. Since they can dwell in salty environments, they may occasionally wander into quickly moving streams, rivers, and channels.
Alligators prefer to reside near the water’s edge. Swamp habitats, lakes, and low-flow river basins form the majority of their native habitat. They are unable to survive in saline environments. The American alligator dwells in much more states than a crocodile due to temperature.
Although both animals are cold-blooded, crocodiles demand a higher temperature to stay alive.They can be found in temperatures ranging between 85 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Alligators can withstand temperatures as low as 79 degrees Fahrenheit before going dormant. Alligators can survive in colder climates as they’re more resilient to cold. It’s most likely an alligator if you’re in the United States but not in south Florida.
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7. Crocodiles Are Slightly Older Than Alligators: Crocodiles can be dated back to the ancient Cretaceous era, roughly 70 million years ago. Their ancestors, though, go back considerably further.
Crocodile-like animals may be traced back to the Jurassic era. These crocodiles lived almost 200 million years old and were called ‘Thalattosuchia.’ The Sarcosuchus is thought to be the first terrestrial Crocodile. It was almost 40 feet long and emerged in fossil evidence about 110 million years old.
Alligators, as you know them now, maybe traceable back to the ancient Cretaceous era, however, their progenitors are not as ancient as Crocodiles. Deinosuchus and Mourasuchus are two early alligators. Both of these genera are from the Early Cretaceous epoch, not the Jurassic. Crocodiles are significantly older than alligators, according to archaeological records.
8. Crocodiles Are More Aggressive: Crocodiles should never be approached or disturbed. Humans’ attacks are common among larger crocodiles like the Nile and Saltie. Crocodiles are opportunist predators who will pounce on anything moving. A hungry one may not hesitate to attack a human who approaches them too closely. Each year, crocodile assaults on people are reported in the hundreds. This is more than just the number of shark attacks per year. The majority of these attacks occur in Australia, where the Saltie dwells, however the Nile crocodile can also be deadly. In comparison to other species, American crocodiles are shy. Unless they have been agitated, they are more inclined to avoid humans.
Alligator assaults account for less than 6% of all confirmed crocodilian attacks. In many cases, an alligator is more terrified of you than you seem to be of it. They only will fight if they are disturbed or if they are defending their eggs or young.
Crocodile vs Alligator Fight.
Who would win in an alligator-crocodile fight is one of the most often questioned questions. The crocodile would surely win in real-life combat. It can bite with a force of nearly 3000 pounds per square inch and attack if it is offended. Despite its smaller size and weight, an American alligator has a biting force of roughly 2,800 psi.
Is An Alligator Faster Than A Crocodile?
Although alligators and crocodiles appear to be snoozing in the sun, they can readily outpace a human. Gators have an edge in terms of speed. Alligators are also much faster than humans.
An alligator can reach speeds of up to 40 miles an hour on land! Crocodiles can only attain speeds of roughly 20 mph over a short distance. The speed of an alligator in the water is reduced to roughly 25 miles an hour. The speed of a crocodile is likewise reduced to around 18 miles an hour.
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You should be able to tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator now. The most important point to keep in mind is that alligators and crocodiles are two very different species. The size and color of their teeth, as well as the shape of their jaw, might all be utilized to separate them.
Dark green or black skin, u-shaped snouts, and tiny black dots distinguish alligators. They are not as large as crocodiles.
Crocodiles are larger than other reptiles and have v-shaped snouts, making them more dangerous.They are light green, brown, or light grey and have visible bottom teeth. In the United States, either gators or crocodiles are more terrified of you than you seem to be of them. Alligators and crocodiles are part of the indigenous wildlife in the state of Florida. The best part you could do is respect them and ensure a safe distance from them.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.