Tuesday, December 1, 2009
- Crocodiles belong to the crocodylidae family; alligators are from the alligatoridae family.
- Crocodiles have long, tapered, V-shaped snouts; alligators have wide, round, U-shaped snouts that are better-suited to eating turtles.
- When a crocodile’s mouth is closed, both the upper and lower teeth are visible, but only the upper teeth remain exposed on an alligator. This difference is most apparent on the large, fourth tooth on the lower jaw of crocodiles.
- Crocodiles are usually larger and more aggressive than alligators.
- Crocodiles have olive-brown skin; alligators have darker, nearly black skin.
- Crocs usually live in brackish or saltwater and have glands on their tongues that excrete excess salt; alligators live in freshwater and lack these glands.
- Crocodiles have dermal pressure receptors covering their entire body; on alligators, these are restricted to the region around the jaw.
- Crocodiles can be found throughout parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas; alligators are only native to the United States and China.