If you are always confused between alligators and crocodiles and cannot tell them apart, you’d be surprised to know that there are a lot of people out there who sail on the same boat. Given the number of similarities like long snouts, short legs, strong tails, and bony backs, it is only natural to feel confused.
However, there are a few things that are distinctively different, and after knowing them, it will be easy for you to understand which ones fall under the crocodile or Alligator
category. Let’s see a few differences that can be useful in distinguishing.
1. The Snout
The first thing that can help us in telling them apart is the snout. If you have closely looked at the images of both, you’ll see that one of them has a U shaped snout and the other one has a V-shaped. Crocodiles have a pointed snout, more like V shape and the alligators have a wide and rounded, quite like the U shape.
2. The Teeth
With those powerful snouts, it is almost impossible to see their teeth unless you really face them. Both the reptiles use the strength of their teeth to hunt because they have short legs, and are unable to catch hold of the prey. You will also notice that crocodiles have more protruding teeth, visible from outside because of their narrow snout. Alligators, on the other hand, have a broad snout; hence, their teeth are not visible easily and are covered when their mouth is closed.
3. The Colour
Another difference that you can easily make out is the color. Crocodiles are gen lighter in color compared to alligators. Crocodiles are typically grey-brown, olive-grey or tannish-grey and alligators are dark-green or blackish.
4. The Habitat
Since these reptiles are cold-blooded, they prefer warmer climates. You’ll never witness any of these if you are looking out for them in colder areas. But to differentiate, you’ll notice that crocodiles are mostly found in salt water and alligators are seen in fresh water. Since crocodiles have salt glands on the tongue, they can excrete a significant amount of salt, which helps in surviving in a salty environment. However, alligators don’t seem to have them anymore; therefore, they prefer being around or in fresh water.
We might know that crocodiles and alligators were here on Earth even before we existed. They have proven to adapt over time remarkably, and have been considered one among the most fascinating and timeless creatures.