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
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
|Shape of Snout||Round and U-shaped||Long and pointed V-shaped|
|Preferred Water Type||Freshwater||Saltwater|
|Lifespan||30-50 years||70-100 years|
|Teeth of the Lower Jaw||Hidden||Visible|
|Lingual Salt Glands||Present but non-functioning||Present and functioning|
|Length of adult||4.3 Meters||5.8 Meters|
|Location of laying eggs||Mounds of vegetation in freshwater||Mud or sand|
|Colour of Young Ones||Black with yellow stripes||Light with dark stripes|
|Location of dermal pressure receptors||Limited on the jaws||All over the body|
|Habitat||The southern part of the USA and China||Africa, Australia, and America|
|Speed||Run-on land and swim in water faster||Run slowly on land and swim slowly|
|Mating||Single male||Several males|
Main Difference between Alligator and Crocodile
- Crocodile has a pointed and V-shaped snout while alligators have broad and U-shaped snout.
- Alligators are found in southern parts of U.S.A and China while crocodiles are found all over the world.
- The main habitat of the crocodile is saline water while alligator is freshwater.
- The teeth of alligators are mostly hidden when the mouth is closed while crocodile cannot hide their teeth.
- Adult crocodile tend to be several feet longer than an adult alligator
- Alligators are dark in colour while crocodiles are greyish green in colour
- Crocodiles move slower both on land and water while alligators move faster in both water and land.
- Alligators are less aggressive while crocodiles are quite aggressive
Similarities between Alligator and Crocodile
- Both belong to Crocodylia
- Both live either on land or in water
- Both lay eggs
- Both are carnivores
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