What is the difference between alligators and crocodiles?

Most of us think that alligators and crocodiles are same but in reality there are some difference between alligators and crocodiles. Let’s discover what is the difference between alligators and crocodiles. After that we will discuss about how dangerous are crocodiles and why they have long snout.

Difference between alligators and crocodiles

The crocodiles, alligators, caimans and the gavial make up a group of about twenty reptiles. They all have the same basic appearance and, like the turtles and terrapins, they are all amphibious. The alligator differs from the crocodile in having a shorter and broader snout although there is yet another, more definite difference.

In both animals the fourth tooth of the lower jaw is enlarged. The teeth in the narrower upper and lower jaws of a crocodile are in line and so this tooth fits into a groove of the upper jaw, and can be seen when the crocodile closes its mouth. The teeth in the broader, upper jaw of an alligator overlap those in the lower.

What is the difference between alligators and crocodiles

A large African Nile Crocodile about to enter the water. Crocodiles are protected by a thick, scaly skin which is prized for making items such as handbags and shoes. Nile Crocodiles are now rare as a result of hunting for this trade and the sale of crocodile products is discouraged.

The enlarged tooth this time fits into a pocket in the upper jaw and cannot be seen when the mouth is closed. The long, powerful tail of the crocodile indicates that it is a good swimmer. The ears, eyes and nostrils are all in line on top of the head so that it can lay practically submerged waiting for its prey. It is also quite agile on land and leaves the water to breed and bask in the sun. 

What is the difference between alligators and crocodiles

The ugly snout of the man-eating salt-water Crocodile. This species comes from Indian, the Philippines and northern Australia, and is notoruious for attacking man.
The American Alligator is another animal is another animal that has become rare due to hunting for its skin and for sale to tourists. Alligators do not make good pets, however, becauses they soon grow to an unmanageable size.

How dangerous are crocodiles?

All crocodiles are meat eaters and feed in water. They are particularly successful in catching smaller animals because they can float up very close to their prey without being seen. They catch animals at water holes in this way and, holding them under water, they back off into deeper water until the prey drowns.

What is the difference between alligators and crocodiles

A baby caiman hatching from its egg. Crocodiles from south and central America are generally called caimans.

Crocodiles tear pieces from their until the prey drowns. Crocodiles tear pieces from the victims by gripping with the teeth and turning over and over. Crocodiles mysteriously attack man in only some areas of Africa. They are probably more aggressive when protecting a nest or when the water is drying up.

Older ‘rogue’ specimens perhaps become used to catching domestic animals in a particular locality and eventually attack the men who tend them.

Why does this crocodile have a long snout?

If you take a stick and sweep it though water you may be surprised to find that little effort is needed to part the water. The stick does not offer much resistance and so slices through very easily. The gavial is unlike other crocodiles in that it feed almost exclusively on fishes.

What is the difference between alligators and crocodiles

(Left) The Gavial lives in the rivers and estuaries of India.
These diagrams show the differences in the jaw structures of crocodiles (top) and alligators (bottom).

You may be beginning to realize why it has such al long, narrow snout. Powerful strokes of its strong tail propel it quickly through the water after its prey, and long sideways slashes of its mouth soon render the fishes helpless. The gavial is a shy crocodile and does not attack man.

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