These animals are semiaquatic (able to live on both land and water) and are known to be excellent stealth hunters with keen vision and powerful jaws. Coloring. But there are some easy ways to tell them apart. Crocodiles are different from alligators in this sense, where both upper and lower jaws of a crocodile are the same size, exposing their teeth as they interlock, creating the look of a toothy grin. The teeth on the upper jaw of the alligator is exposed when its mouth is closed. American crocodiles have a narrower snout with a V-shaped jaw. Another notable difference between crocodiles and alligators is the visibility of the teeth on the bottom jaw. Differences between crocodiles and alligators. The easiest way to tell the difference between crocodiles and alligators is to look at their snouts. Alligators tend to be darker in color than crocodiles; alligators are dark blackish-grey, whereas crocodiles are light tan or olive color. These semiaquatic animals are versatile eaters, fast swimmers, and socially complex. Although both alligators and crocodiles are crocodilians, they are two distinctly different reptiles. Alligators are found in fresh water whereas crocodiles live in both fresh and salt water. The reptiles’ coloring also sets them apart. In contrast, crocodiles live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats throughout the tropical Americas, Africa, and Asia. Whereas, crocodiles are a light tan or olive green in color with a v-shaped snout that is longer and narrow in front. In this article, we’ll explain the main difference between alligator and crocodile species, as well as where you can find them, what they eat, and their relationship with humans. Alligators and crocodiles are commonly confused with one another. The largest populations of crocodiles can be found in Central Africa (Nile crocodile) and Asia (Borneo; saltwater crocodile). These snouts are great for cracking through the variety of prey that crocodiles around the world eat. Unlike their alligator cousins, crocodiles can live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. Notable Differences Between Alligator And Crocodile 1. Crocodiles in the wild are found all over the world while alligators are … Next are the teeth. Alligators eat everything from birds and fish to other reptiles, small mammals, and even fruit. While alligators appear dark in complexion, crocodiles are usually a lighter brown, green, or gray. There are a handful of differences between Alligators and Crocodiles, especially in appearance. Along with their obvious physical differences, alligators are found in a few limited places in the U.S. and China while the crocodile's habitat ranges across North America, to Asia, to Australia, and even Africa. Difference Between Alligator And Crocodile: For most people alligators or crocodiles are general terms used to describe any large water-dwelling lizard with big teeth. It can be difficult for inexperienced people to tell the difference between an American crocodile and the other native crocodilian, the more common American alligator. ), A Chinese alligator (Daiju Azuma/Wikimedia Commons). The following are some of the major differences between the two: In the case of alligators, the lower teeth are typically not visible when the mouth is shut. The Chinese alligator is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Get the latest articles and test prep tips! Or is it a crocodile? Crocodilians, which include crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials are the reptiles that first appeared on earth about 210 million years ago. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)says, “While alligators can tolerate salt water for a few hours or even days, they are primarily freshwater animals, living in swampy areas, rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.” The reason for this is simple: Crocodiles have salt glandson their tongue that allow them to excrete large amounts of salt, enabling them to thrive in salty e… Found in swampy, humid areas, Crocodilians are cold blooded animals that can only survive in warm weather, usually around eighty degrees. So how can you tell the difference between alligator and crocodile species? The smallest species (dwarf crocodile) can measure about 6 feet in length and weigh around 13 to 15 pounds, whereas the largest species (saltwater crocodile) can measure more than 20 feet in length and weigh close to 2,000 pounds! Between 20 and 25 fatal alligator attacks have occurred in Florida over the years, but not one fatal crocodile attack has ever been recorded here. 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