Alligator Vs Crocodile

Alligator vs Crocodile: All 9 Variations Explained

Crocodiles and alligators are the closest animals we have to dinosaurs. Their origins can be traced to more than 70 million years ago. The appearances and behaviors of the ‘living fossils’ have not changed significantly since then.

Alligator Vs Crocodile: All 9 Differences Explained

If you visit the United States you won’t see any crocodiles unless you go to the southernmost tip of Florida. Every other type or crocodilian is an alligator in every other state. American gators are found from East Texas to North Carolina.

Isabel Thomas (Author)
Alligator Vs. Crocodile: Alligator Versus Crocodile (Animals Head To Head)

Alligators and crocodiles are similar to each other in size, behavior, and appearance. It is sometimes difficult to discern the difference between them. Particularly in the south, where both species are found, this is a problem.

Be sure to not get confused by crocodiles! There are many subtle but significant differences between alligators vs crocodiles.

This guide will teach you how to spot the difference between alligators and crocodiles. Fun trivia is also shared about which species are faster, stronger, and bigger.

It is also possible to take a look at your surroundings. Crocodiles are able to swim in open streams due to their ability to regulate salt . Most alligators stay close to the water, preferring to remain in swamps and lakes.

Next, you’ll want to have a look at their color. Crocodiles are likely to be light green, brown, and light grey. The United States has the majority of crocodiles that are mostly slate grey. You are likely to have a gator if it is covered in dark green and black scales. The American alligator’s darker colors allow it to blend in better with the mud.

Next, you need to consider the size.

Crocodiles average three feet more than alligators. This is true in the United States as well. American crocs can attain a length around 17 feet. American alligators are 13 to 14 inches long.

Finally, take a look at the shape and size of your jaw and snout. The best way to identify the differences is by taking a good close look. It is important to not get too close. You can see the shape on the snout to tell whether you are dealing with a croc, gator, or both.

alligator vs crocodile

Gators May Live in Colder Countries

Many species of crocodiles are found in marshes or wetlands, alongside lakes and rivers. They may sometimes venture into rivers, streams and channels that are moving fast because of their ability to survive in salty water.

It is common for alligators to live near the coast. The majority of alligators’ natural habitat consists of swamps, lakes, or low flow rivers. They can’t live in salinity.

Why the American alligator has more state locations than acrocodile is due to temperature

Both are cold-blooded but the Crocodiles live in higher temperatures. You can find them in temperature ranges from 85 to 93degF. They can survive at temperatures down to 79 degrees F before going dormant.

alligator vs crocodile

There are physical differences

Most people can distinguish between alligators from crocodiles using their jawline and snout shapes.

Snout Form: Alligators have an elongated, flat, ushaped nose. Crocodiles however have long, sharp, vshaped noses. You might not know it, but the differences in their shape mean that alligators are able to use more power from their mouths. This is helpful in breaking open hard-shelled vertebrates (like turtles).

Jawline: Alligators are known for their wide jawline, which makes it possible to keep the teeth hidden from the mouth. Crocodiles look different than alligators because their upper and lower jaws are identical. The crocodiles’ teeth are exposed as the interlock, giving the illusion of a toothy smile. You can easily tell the difference in an alligator from a Crocodile by the way the teeth look and their shape.

The alligator and the crocodile are huge reptiles. As adults, Gators can be up to 10 feet tall and can weigh in excess of 500 pounds. As far as crocs, they can reach an impressive 14 to 17 feet and can weigh as much as 2,200 pounds!

alligator vs crocodile

Alligator vs. Crocodile. Here’S a detailed Comparison with Pictures

Common mistaken identity is to confuse an alligator with a Crocodile. This article will explain how to tell the difference in just a few seconds.

It is common to mistakenly think an alligator is a crocodile. Read the following article to understand how the distinction can be done with just a couple of minutes of observation.

Crocodiles & alligators have a long history of being confused. They both belong to distinct taxonomic family members, although this is only a part of the story. Both these reptiles possess vast physical differences, among other aspects, that make it easier for us to identify them.

Classification Alligator Vs Crocodile

Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Chordata


alligator vs crocodile

How to identify an alligator

Alligators possess long, flat noses that face upwards. They can breathe underwater because of this. Four legs, the front having five and back four toes each, are available to them.

Both sexes sport an armory with a long, muscular tail. Bony plates, called osteoderms, are embedded in the skin of their backs. Yellow stripes appear on young alligator’s tails, while adults have dark stripes. An alligator’s teeth are easy to distinguish from a crocodile.

In alligators, their lower teeth are not visible when they close their mouths. The large fourth teeth in the lower jaw of crocodiles are visible. The adult alligators also have 80 teeth. The alligators will replace their teeth when they lose them. They may also go through up to 3,000 teeth during their lifetime.

Image from Adobe Stock Female alligators are smaller than male alligators. A male alligator’s average length is 11.2 feet and a female is 8.2 feet. Extreme weights are not common for both sexes. Mature females weigh approximately 91 kg while mature males can reach up to 360kg.

alligator vs crocodile

Crocodiles and alligators:

Crocodiles, on the other hand, come from The Crocodylidae Family. Alligators belong to the Alligatordae group. Although both look very similar, alligators as well as crocodiles do not have the ability to mate. These two species are completely different. But these predators both mate almost the same way. Both alligators as well as crocodiles are able to mat by doing vocalizations. As with other animals, alligators also emit a musk-like odor that they use to scent their prey.

The underwater mate is where alligators, crocodiles, and other animals like them, are called the “crocodile”. It is rare to observe such behavior as it occurs underwater. The mating process usually lasts several minutes. For fertilization to occur, however, two pairs may mate at least once per year. After mating, female crocodiles or alligators typically lay eggs within four to six weeks. Mothers lay approximately 60 eggs within the nest that they have made. They then cover them and return to the water. It takes approximately three months for eggs to hatch.

The sex of the hatchlings will base on the temperature inside the nest. The hatchlings are male if the temperature inside the nest is between 32-33 degrees Celsius. However, hatchlings that are less than 32 degrees Celsius will be male. Both male crocodiles and alligators mate with as many females as possible. Monogamous pairings of American alligators are not consistent with this fact.