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Difference Between Alligator and Crocodile: How are alligators and crocodiles different?

How can you tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator? Yes, a crocodile and an alligator are assumed to be identical unless you know the features of each of these species. There are a lot of dissimilarities between a crocodile and an alligator based on their features, habitat, skin, and a lot more.

Are alligators and crocodiles related? These deadly predators are primitively and majorly put into the same family but scientifically, these two belong to different families. An alligator belongs to the Alligatoride family and a crocodile belongs to the family of Crocodylidae. One of the similarities between these two reptiles is their existence, both the species are believed to be in existence since the dinosaur era. Let’s continue in the coming section with the facts and differences between an Alligator and a crocodile!

Difference Between Alligator and Crocodile: How are alligators and crocodiles different?

Crocodiles are aggressive, unpredictable, and far more likely to attack. Alligators would rather escape from an encounter with a human than attack.

If at a glance you will look at the crocodile or an alligator, you may not be able to find the difference as these two have major resemblance in terms of their size, body shapes, and eating habits. Both the cold-blooded species are reptiles and carnivores. So, how to recognize whether the reptile is a crocodile or an alligator. Let’s understand the difference between these two with this quick table listed below:

Differences Crocodile Alligator
Family Crocodylidae Alligatoride
Habitat Saltwater Freshwater
Snout V-shaped U-shaped
Jawline The Upper and bottom jaw is visible when the mouth is closed U shaped jaw, only upper jaw is visible when the mouth is closed
Teeth Always visible Only top teeth are visible
Color Light tan, green, or olive Dark shades of black and grey
Height 14 to 17 feet Female on an average around 8.2 feet, and male around 11.2 feet.
Weight Up to 2200 pounds Up to 1000 pounds
Speed Can swim up to 18 miles per hour. Fast, can swim 25 miles per hour.

Similarities between Crocodile and Alligator

The biggest resemblance between these two species is that both are reptiles. Another common point between these two can be their food, both crocodiles and alligators are carnivores, but they do not require food frequently unlike other reptiles or mammals. Crocodiles and alligators both require an outer source of energy to maintain the temperature of their body.

Coming to their attacking tendencies and ghastly nature, a crocodile is more hostile and combative to humans or its other prey as compared to alligators. Alligators are comparatively calm and like to stay in their territories. So, next time you come across a crocodile-like reptile walking away from you (unless you trigger them like by feeding them) you can tell it is an Alligator.