Classification of crocodile and the alligator

Alligators and crocodiles are reptiles that belong to two different families.

Crocodilia is the class of reptilia that is considered large predatory and semi-aquatic creatures. Mostly they are called crocodilians. there are three families in order crocodilia. Family Crocodylidae, family Alligatoridae, and family Gavialidae. True crocodiles are belonging to the family Crocodylidae, The alligators and caimans are in the family Alligatoridae, and gharial and false gharial Are in the family Gavialidae.

Facts about the crocodile and the alligator

These two forms are lizard-like reptiles that show semi-aquatic behaviors with large body sizes. They have a long flat snout and eyes, nostrils, and ears at the top of the head. They have non-overlapping, thick-covered skin. These reptiles are ectotherms and have a four-chambered heart. The peg-like sharp teeth are helping with a powerful bit.

Difference between the crocodile and the alligator.

Alligators and crocodiles are remarkably comparable in terms of size, behavior, and appearance. It might be difficult to distinguish between them at times.

The shape of the snout – crocodile vs alligator

There are a number of easy ways to tell them apart, including the shape of their snouts.

Crocodiles’ snouts are usually triangular and shaped like the letter V. Regardless of the species, this form is the same. The snout of an alligator is shaped like a U. It’s significantly broader and wider than a crocodile’s mouth.

Natural Habitat – crocodile vs alligator

The two reptiles are also geographically apart. Crocodiles favor saltwater environments, but alligators prefer freshwater.

Size of the body – crocodile vs alligator

Crocodiles are generally larger than alligators. The saltwater crocodile is the largest, growing up to 23 feet long.

Mouth and Teeth – crocodile vs alligator

Usually, both the upper and lower teeth of a crocodile are visible. But in alligators most of the time, only the upper teeth are visible.

Colour appearance – crocodile vs alligator

Another difference is the color. You’ve probably seen a Crocodile in its light green, brown, or light grey color. Compared to that an alligator has dark green or black scales.

Behaviors – crocodile vs alligator

Crocodiles are more aggressive than gators in general. Crocodiles have strong, pointed teeth that are built for tearing. The alligator’s jaw is designed to smash rather than rip the prey apart.

Origin – crocodile vs alligator

According to fossil records, crocodiles are slightly older than alligators in origin.

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Anuradhika Lakmali

Anuradhika Lakmali is a co-founder of Science A Plus learning network. She is working as a government teacher and has interest in chemistry, biology, phisics and self development.