The Main Differences Between Alligators and Crocodiles

The alligator and the crocodile do look alike in many ways. To some people they look the same, but if you look closely you will see the differences and quickly be able to distinguish a gator from a croc. Both of these creatures are reptiles and both of them are a part of the Crocodilia order. They are not the only members of the crocodilian family. The Caimans and the gharials are also kin to the alligators and crocodiles.


• Their snout isan that of their cousin the croc, and it is shaped more like a U. This wider snout makes their jaws more powerful for eating things like turtles. Their jaw wider ths can crush the shell of a turtle with ease.

• Their upper jaw is much wider than their lower jaw is. The teeth of the lower jaw are effectively hidden from view by the upper jaw.

• Alligators are dark and almost appear to be black in color.

• They can be found in China and in the United States.

• Generally they get no longer than 14 feet.


• They have a snout that is long, narrow, and resembles a V. Their narrow snout is well suited to catching and eating the fish and small mammals they dine on.

• The upper and lower jaw of the croc is basically the same in width. Their teeth are exposed in an interlocking pattern. Their fourth tooth on their bottom jaw is very large and protrudes, but the upper jaw has a depression to accommodate the presence of this tooth.

• Crocs are generally colored an olive brown.

• They live in North, Central, and South America. Many live in Africa, Australia, and in areas of Asia.

• They have a lingual salt gland that makes them more comfortable in salt waters.

• They tend to grow larger than their cousins the gator.

Both of these species of reptile are very strong. They can move very quickly when they are in the water and when they are on land. You should never approach either of these creatures unless you have been trained to deal with them. Most of their power is in their tails but their bite can crush a man.

The series Swamp People from the History Channel has made the fishing for alligators look easy. In truth the fishing for these giant reptiles is very hard work. Amateurs should never attempt to catch one and place it in their boat.