15 Major Difference between Alligator and Crocodile

What is the difference between alligator and crocodile?

It is quite difficult for an inexperienced person to tell the difference between alligators and crocodiles.

The main difference between alligator and crocodile is that Alligators have U-shaped faces that are wide and short, while crocodiles have slender almost V-shaped muzzles.

The core difference between an alligator and crocodile is that crocodiles have a long and pointed V-shaped snout while alligators have a rounded U-shaped snout.

Read More: Difference between Monkey and Ape

Difference between Alligator and Crocodile

What Is an Alligator?

An alligator is a large semi-aquatic reptile with a broader and shorter head. It belongs to the genus crocodilian and family of Alligatoridae.

The main species of alligators are Native American alligator and Chinese alligators. American alligators live in the freshwater of the ponds, rivers, lakes and swamps.

What Is a Crocodile?

A crocodile is a large predatory semi-aquatic reptile with horny textured skin, long jaws, long tail and short legs.

They belong to Chordata phylum and a family of Crocodylidae. They mainly live in saltwater and they have species all over the world like Asia, Africa and America.

Comparison Chart: Alligator Vs Crocodile

Basic TermsAlligatorCrocodile
ColourBlackGreyish Green
Shape of SnoutRound and U-shapedLong and pointed V-shaped
Preferred Water TypeFreshwaterSaltwater
Lifespan30-50 years70-100 years
Teeth of the Lower JawHiddenVisible
Lingual Salt GlandsPresent but non-functioningPresent and functioning
Length of adult4.3 Meters5.8 Meters
Location of laying eggsMounds of vegetation in freshwaterMud or sand
Colour of Young OnesBlack with yellow stripesLight with dark stripes
Location of dermal pressure receptorsLimited on the jawsAll over the body
Habitat          The southern part of the USA and ChinaAfrica, Australia, and America
SpeedRun-on land and swim in water fasterRun slowly on land and swim slowly
MatingSingle maleSeveral males

Main Difference between Alligator and Crocodile

  1. Crocodile has a pointed and V-shaped snout while alligators have broad and U-shaped snout.
  2. Alligators are found in southern parts of U.S.A and China while crocodiles are found all over the world.
  3. The main habitat of the crocodile is saline water while alligator is freshwater.
  4. The teeth of alligators are mostly hidden when the mouth is closed while crocodile cannot hide their teeth.
  5. Adult crocodile tend to be several feet longer than an adult alligator
  6. Alligators are dark in colour while crocodiles are greyish green in colour
  7. Crocodiles move slower both on land and water while alligators move faster in both water and land.
  8. Alligators are less aggressive while crocodiles are quite aggressive

Similarities between Alligator and Crocodile

  1. Both belong to Crocodylia
  2. Both live either on land or in water
  3. Both lay eggs
  4. Both are carnivores

Comparison Video


Alligators and crocodile belong to the same phylum. They have some close similarities in the way of operation but what set them apart is the family.

Due to the high demand for crocodile skin, several countries have developed policies that help to conserve them.

Understanding the difference between alligators and crocodiles is key especially if you have a hobby of touring the world.

More Sources and References

  • https://www.britannica.com/story/whats-the-difference-between-alligators-and-crocodiles
  • https://www.livescience.com/32144-whats-the-difference-between-alligators-and-crocodiles.html

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