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The 8 Main Differences Between Alligators and Crocodiles

Read on to find out the main differences between crocodiles and alligators.

Read on to find out the main differences between crocodiles and alligators.

So What's the Difference Between Alligators and Crocodiles?

Many people are unaware that there's a difference between alligators and crocodiles and use both terms interchangeably to describe any large water-dwelling lizard with big teeth.

What they don't realize is that, despite some similarities, the two reptiles don't look or behave the same. They also belong to different biological families.

8 ways to tell alligators and crocodiles apart:

  1. Shape of the snout. The crocodile's snout is pointed and V-shaped, and the alligator's is wide and U-shaped.
  2. Location. Alligators are only found in parts of the US and China, whereas crocodiles can be found across the world. Scroll down for more information about where you'll find each.
  3. Habitat. Crocodiles prefer water that is more saline or salty. Alligators prefer a freshwater habitat.
  4. Toothy grin. Crocodiles can't hide their teeth, but alligators' teeth are sometimes hidden when their mouths are closed.
  5. Size. A full-grown crocodile will likely be several feet longer than an adult alligator.
  6. Color. Crocodiles are generally lighter in color than alligators.
  7. Speed. On land and in water, crocodiles are usually slower than alligators.
  8. Behavior. In terms of aggression, an alligator might seem tame compared to a crocodile.

Once you understand the differences, it is actually pretty easy to tell them apart. I explore each of these differences in more detail below.

Note the pointed, v-shape of this crocodile's snout. The alligator's snout is wider, more rounded, and shaped like a U.

Note the pointed, v-shape of this crocodile's snout. The alligator's snout is wider, more rounded, and shaped like a U.

1. Alligators and Crocodiles Have Different Snouts

One of the main differences between alligators and crocodiles is the snout. The alligator's is broader and shaped like a U, whereas the crocodile’s is longer and narrower and more V-shaped.

It's likely that the alligator's snout shape is different because of their diet and eating habits, particularly breaking open turtle shells, whereas the crocodile’s snout is more suited to hunting general prey including fish, reptiles, and mammals.

The alligator's snout is a more rounded U shape. The differences in snouts probably evolved due to dietary differences, with alligators needing to crack open turtle shells.

The alligator's snout is a more rounded U shape. The differences in snouts probably evolved due to dietary differences, with alligators needing to crack open turtle shells.

2. Where Do Alligators and Crocodiles Live?

Alligators live only in the southeastern US and eastern China, whereas crocodiles can be found across the world in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, North America, South America, and Central America.

If you are in the US, then you are far more likely to encounter an alligator than a crocodile. Although there is an American crocodile species, they only live in the southernmost tip of Florida, whereas alligators can be found across Florida and Louisiana, as well as in parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Alligators heavily outnumber crocodiles in the US. There are estimated to be over 5 million alligators, but fewer than 2,000 crocodiles. Southern Florida is the only place in the world where you will find crocodiles and alligators living side by side.

A young alligator by the water in Florida.  Alligators vastly outnumber crocodiles in the US. As well as forming a bigger population, they also inhabit a much wider geographical area, with crocodiles only present the southern tip of the state.

A young alligator by the water in Florida. Alligators vastly outnumber crocodiles in the US. As well as forming a bigger population, they also inhabit a much wider geographical area, with crocodiles only present the southern tip of the state.

3. Habitat: Freshwater or Saltwater?

Crocodiles have special glands in their tongues which excrete excess salt from their bodies. This means that they are capable of spending days, or even weeks at sea.

Alligators also have these glands but they don’t work as well, so they usually stick to freshwater habitats, although they can sometimes be found in brackish water (a mixture of salt and freshwater).

This difference explains why crocodiles have managed to spread across the islands of the Caribbean, and alligators haven't.

Notice that the snout of this adult crocodile looks pointed and some of the teeth on the lower jaw are clearly visible, in spite of the mouth being closed.

Notice that the snout of this adult crocodile looks pointed and some of the teeth on the lower jaw are clearly visible, in spite of the mouth being closed.

4. They Have Different Teeth

When their mouths are closed, the snouts of alligators and crocodiles are easy to tell apart, as the alligator will have none of its bottom teeth visible, whereas the crocodile’s lower fourth teeth can always be seen.

Crocodiles often have many visible teeth sticking out over their lips, giving them a very jagged "smile," but since an alligator's upper jaw is wider than its lower, it can hide all its teeth when its mouth is closed.

Here's a close-up of the crocodile's teeth with its mouth shut.

Here's a close-up of the crocodile's teeth with its mouth shut.

5. Which Are Bigger: Alligators or Crocodiles?

An adult crocodile can grow up to roughly 19 feet long, whereas for alligators, the maximum length is around 14 feet, so generally speaking, crocodiles are larger.

An alligator in Florida: Notice that the hide is a very dark gray color. The color of a gator's hide varies according to the water it swims in. Algae makes them greener, and tannic acid from the overhanging trees makes them darker.

An alligator in Florida: Notice that the hide is a very dark gray color. The color of a gator's hide varies according to the water it swims in. Algae makes them greener, and tannic acid from the overhanging trees makes them darker.

6. Color Differences

Crocodile hides tend to be more of a light tan or olive color, whereas alligators are usually a dark blackish grey.

(The exact shade of an alligator skin depends upon the quality of the water it swims in. Tannic acid from overhanging trees will make them darker, algae will make them greener).

A young alligator basking. As they get older, their hides gradually lose their stripey pattern and become darker.

A young alligator basking. As they get older, their hides gradually lose their stripey pattern and become darker.

7. Which Runs and Swims Faster: An Alligator or a Crocodile?

On Land: Both can can move quickly on land, but only for short distances. They can both "gallop" or "sprint" but only do it when threatened, and not for long. A crocodile might reach almost 9 mph (14kph), while an alligator might reach a maximum speed of about 11 mph (18 kph).

In Water: They're both much more agile and fast in water where they can use their long, muscular tails to propel their bodies forward. When crocodiles swim, they might reach speeds of about 9 mph (15 kph), while alligators might reach a maximum of 20 mph (32 kph).

8. Which Is More Aggressive: An Alligator or a Crocodile?

Alligators, while definitely dangerous, are relatively timid compared to crocodiles. An alligator will generally try to escape if approached by humans, usually heading for the nearest water.

The only time that wild alligators will attack humans is if they are unexpectedly disturbed, provoked, or defending their young.

Alligators are instinctively afraid of humans but can lose some of that fear with regular contact. Except in controlled conditions, feeding them is almost always a bad idea as they will lose some of their fear and see humans as a source of food. They can also mistake small children and pet dogs for prey.

Crocodiles, on the other hand, are much more bad-tempered and far more likely to attack humans, even unprovoked.

Australian saltwater crocodiles are generally considered the most dangerous in the world, followed by Nile crocodiles. American crocodiles, on the other hand, are one of the more timid types that you will find and rarely attack humans. In the US, you are more likely to be attacked by an alligator than a crocodile, although attacks by either are very rare.

Are alligators and crocodiles the same species?

Crocodilia is an order of large, semiaquatic, predatory reptiles that includes alligators, caimans, gharai, and crocodiles. These are all known as "crocodilians," but only some are true crocodiles, and they're not related closely enough to interbreed.

Alligator vs. Crocodile: Which is stronger? If they fought, who would win?

Crocodiles can grow bigger than gators, and their bites can be more lethal.

Crocodiles might win for bite strength alone. The strongest have a bite pressure that measures 3,700 pounds per square inch, while the strongest alligators' bites are about 2,900.

In terms of size, crocodiles win again. The biggest recorded croc was about 2,000 pounds and over 23 feet long, while the largest recorded gator was about 1,000 pounds and 19 feet long.

Lastly, in terms of aggression, crocodiles would still win, as they are much more aggressive and likely to attack, even if unprovoked.

Which are more dangerous to humans?

According to CrocBITE, a database that keeps track of crocodilian attacks worldwide, the Nile crocodile is the one humans should be the most afraid of. Since the year 2000, there have been 33 human fatalities caused by American gators and crocodiles combined compared to 268 caused by Nile crocodiles alone.

Does Florida have alligators or crocodiles?

The short answer is that Florida has both, but alligators outnumber crocodiles by a large amount. Alligators live all over Florida, mainly in freshwater, such as swamps, rivers and lakes, though sometimes they can be found in brackish water. Crocodiles live only in the southernmost tip of Florida and there are less than 2,000 of them according to estimates, they live in brackish and salt-water habitats.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: What type of alligator is in Gatorade?

Answer: Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida and takes its name from the college sports teams, known as "Florida Gators". The energy drink contains no actual alligators.

Question: Do alligators and crocodiles have tongues, and if they do, are there any differences in them?

Answer: Both alligators and crocodiles have tongues, but the tongues are different shapes, and sit in different places within their mouths. An alligator can stick its tongue out, but a crocodile can't, due to a membrane that holds its tongue in place on the roof of its mouth to stop the tongue moving.

Question: Can alligators and crocodiles mate?

Answer: No, they can't. Although they look similar, they are genetically too far apart. Although related, they split into separate genera a long time ago.

Question: I have heard about alligators surviving in frozen lakes in winter. Is that also possible for crocodiles?

Answer: Crocodiles are less able to survive in colder climates where water freezes, which is one reason they are much less common than alligators in the southeastern USA and are only found at the southernmost tip of Florida. They also tend to live in salt or brackish water - which is much less likely to freeze - especially in the subtropical and tropical climes where they usually live.

Question: Why do alligators swim away when humans approach?

Answer: Wild alligators have a natural fear of humans and will usually attempt to escape if approached. Alligators can lose their built-in fear if they become used to humans, however, which is why you should never feed wild alligators.

Question: Which has the stronger bite; an alligator or a crocodile?

Answer: There have been a number of studies on this, and there is no total agreement. Part of the problem is that there are different ways to measure bite strength. Currently, the general opinion is that the size of the animal is the deciding factor, regardless of whether it is an alligator or crocodile. The bigger crocodile species will therefore tend to have stronger bites than alligators, but it depends on the relative sizes of the actual animals being compared.

Question: Can an alligator and a crocodile have kids together?

Answer: No, because although they might look fairly similar, they belong to separate species (Alligatoroidea and Crocodyloidea). This essentially means that they are too different genetically to produce children. So don't expect to see any "crocogators" soon!

Question: Can an alligator kill a crocodile?

Answer: There is actually only one place in the world where alligators and crocodiles live side by side, that is the southernmost tip of Florida. The two animals don't usually fight, but crocodiles, as a species, are generally more aggressive.

Question: In which climate are crocodiles and alligators most often found?

Answer: They are most often found in tropical and subtropical climates.

Question: Are caimans a species of alligator or they are a different species?

Answer: Alligators and caimans belong to the same family, alligatoridae, and therefore have a lot of similarities, but they are separate species. In total there are 23 crocodilian species.

Question: What do you know about saltwater crocodiles?

Answer: This crocodile, also known informally as a "saltie," can be found throughout most of Southeast Asia, as far west as the eastern coast of India, and all the way down to northern Australia. Its scientific name is Crocodylus porosus. It lives in marine environments, as well as brackish waters. Along with the Nile crocodile, it is considered the most aggressive and dangerous type of crocodile.

Question: Are crocodiles related to alligators?

Answer: Crocodiles and alligators are both members of the order Crocodilia, which also includes caiman.

Question: Do all American alligators have the same dark blackish color?

Answer: No, adult American alligators can be brown, olive, grey, or virtually black and their undersides are creamy. Their color is influenced by their habitat.

Question: Would a crocodile attack an alligator?

Answer: Attacks are possible if the crocodile believes that its young or itself are being threatened, but the chances of it happening are likely rarer than you think. One reason being that crocodiles and alligators rarely encounter each other in the wild, as they only live together in southern Florida. The Florida alligators live in freshwater and occasionally brackish water, generally rivers, lakes, and swampy areas. Crocodiles like saltwater and brackish areas and can usually be found near the Florida coast. Unlike Australian and Nile crocodiles, the Florida crocodiles are fairly small and shy.

Question: Are alligators big?

Answer: An adult male American alligator typically measures somewhere between 11 and 15 ft (3.4 and 4.6 m) in length, and weigh up to 1,000 lb (453 kg). Females alligators are smaller, and usually range between 8.5 and 9.8 ft, or (2.6 and 3 m) in length.

Question: Would a crocodile bite you in self-defense?

Answer: Yes. Their bite is their biggest weapon and they will use it if they feel threatened.

Question: Are alligators or crocodiles friendly?

Answer: No, they are wild animals who generally see humans as a threat.

Question: Do crocodile and alligator jaws open in different ways or does the same part of the jaw open?

Answer: Despite the difference of snout shape, the jaws do open in a similar way. There has been much research into which animal has the most powerful bite. Recent experiments seem to show that it's generally the size of the animal that dictates how strong its bite is, rather than whether it is a crocodile or alligator.

Question: Can an alligator kill a human being?

Answer: Yes, that can and does happen. They don't often attack humans, however, being instinctively afraid of them, and so fatalities are rare. They are most likely to attack small children who they can mistake for prey.

Question: Do alligators hunt on land?

Answer: The preferred method for alligators to catch prey is to ambush animals at the water's edge and drag them into the water. However, adults will sometimes venture up to 170 feet (50 m) from water to look for prey. They will wait by trail sides and then stage an ambush on passing animals.

Question: Are alligators different from crocodiles?

Answer: Although alligators and crocodiles can appear similar, they actually belong to separate species (Alligatoroidea and Crocodyloidea). There are a number of differences between them, including the shape of their snout, where they live, habitat, color, and size.

Question: It used to be possible to buy cowboy boots made from alligator leather, is this still true?

Answer: Yes, you can. Alligators were considered endangered at one time, but after their numbers made a dramatic recovery, the species were removed from the endangered species list in 1987. Alligators are now farmed for meat, leather, and other goods.

Question: Is "gator" another name for "an alligator"?

Answer: Yes.

Question: So the creatures in the Amazon River are alligators?

Answer: There are two species of alligator, and neither live on or near the Amazon River. The most common species live in the southeastern part of the United States. The other species, which are critically endangered, live in eastern China.

Question: Do you know the difference between a freshwater crocodile and a saltwater crocodile?

Answer: These two species live in Australia and are often referred to as "freshies" and "salties" by locals. There are a number of ways to tell them apart. Firstly, the saltwater crocodile is much larger than its freshwater equivalent. Secondly, the snout shape is different, with freshwater crocs having longer, thinner snouts. Thirdly, the freshwater crocodiles have an even jawline with generally smaller teeth, whereas the saltwater has an uneven jawline and the teeth size varies, with some teeth much bigger than others. Both crocodiles are potentially dangerous to humans, but saltwater crocs are especially aggressive.

Question: What type of crocodiles are strongest ?

Answer: The saltwater crocodile is the largest and most aggressive type of crocodile. They are also the largest living reptile. They can be found in southeast Asia and on the northern coast of Australia.

Question: Are American alligators protected?

Answer: Alligators were put the endangered species list and protected in the 60's and 70's, but taken off the list in 1987 after numbers were deemed to have recovered.

Question: Can an alligator be careful and calm too?

Answer: Generally speaking, alligators are timid and afraid of humans. They will spend a lot of the daytime basking in the sun and in the night time they hunt. It's important to remember that they are reptiles and generally aren't as intelligent or emotionally complex as large mammals. They can spend long periods of time not moving, then suddenly burst into action.

Question: What is there for tourists to see and do in the Philippines?

Answer: The Philippines has a large and growing tourist industry with over 4 million visitors each year. Things to see include natural features, such as volcanoes, underground rivers, coastlines, beaches, and islands. There are some impressive rice terraces dug into mountainsides, as well as beautiful waterfalls. The country is famous for its incredible biodiversity and exotic sea and land life. There are plenty of great diving opportunities and mini-cruises to experience. You will also find many interesting museums, restaurants, street markets, and zoos to visit.

Question: Why are there no more alligators in Flordia?

Answer: Although alligators were at one time endangered due to over-hunting, their numbers have increased dramatically in Florida since the 1970's. It's estimated that there are now between 1.3 million and 2 million alligators in the state, which means that there's one gator for every 10-15 Floridians.

Question: Are alligators more aggressive than crocodiles?

Answer: Alligators are less aggressive than most species of crocodile, certainly towards humans.

Question: Between an alligator and a crocodile of the same size, whose bite is stronger?

Answer: Studies vary in their conclusions. Part of the problem is that there is no single accepted method for measuring bite power. It's likely that the alligator snout shape and bite is geared more towards cracking open turtle shells, which are a feature of their diet, so it wouldn't be surprising if they have a stronger bite, but this has never been conclusively proved.

Question: Who would win in a fight between an alligator or crocodile?

Answer: The two reptiles are pretty evenly matched so the bigger one of the two would have the advantage. Alligators and crocodiles don't meet that often in the wild, however, as they only coexist in a small area at the southernmost tip of Florida, USA.

Question: Are alligators a type of crocodile?

Answer: No, they are members of the order Crocodilia, which includes alligators, crocodiles, and caiman, but they are not a true crocodile.

Question: Are alligators and crocodiles basically the same thing?

Answer: Although they do have some similarities, they are are separate species. Differences between them include: where they live, size, shape of snouts, and their relative levels of aggression.

© 2011 Paul Goodman


suyog vishwakarma on August 01, 2020:

I had just seen the pic of the alligator and crocodile in my textbook and I think that, what will be the differences between them ?

this site was very interesting and helpful for me.

Savera naz on June 20, 2020:

My friend told me about this article .

This is very interesting to know me about crocodile and alligator

Ricky on May 13, 2020:


swat on May 11, 2020:

wow aligators are painful

rose on April 30, 2020:

this is really helpful

kittylover4301 on March 11, 2020:

I love this!

PoisonPython4365 on March 11, 2020:


A cool boi on January 02, 2020:

So good and informative

Coelophysis on December 19, 2019:

American crocodile and desert crocodile are not that aggressive even ancient Egyptian could tell different it from Nile crocodile .Cuban crocodile is very aggressive in alligator caiman are very aggressive black caiman well known for that may be because they are more close to Nile croc one nose hole thing. Which is better on land Nile croc gator both hunt on land they are eusuchian mesoeucrocodylia they have eusuchian monster centra backbone joint flexible backbone like a cat .cat have disc joint some modern crocodilian are more like land crocodilian even some scientist say so like dwarf caiman no web toe small snout dinosaur temporal fenestra and one have dinosaur tail and less flat skull.Cuban croc I think has specialize leg muscle small snout they were more of a land crocodile in the past dwarf crocodile is mostly a land crocodile it can hop .mesoeucrocodylian evolve in water there is a lot of drag those fast joint easy use on land like the tail mesoeucrocodylia had advitage over dinosaur they can jump higher most early land mesoeucrocodylia keep the tail.they are 2 type of modern crocodilian crocodile and alligator crocodile is use for all croc like animal mostly crocodilian is use animal like proterosuchus dinosaur dinosauriformies pterosaur gator the scientific name is thecodont which mean crocodilian teeth .lizard has simular thecodont teeth but it’s different they are different animal lizard allso has bird teeth a more advance teeth that were you get bird link with dinosaur and the archosaur name .the true crocodilian the advance thecodont the gator mesoeucrocodylia .scientist saw how primitive dinosaur and proterosuchus pterosaur were .they lack a full palate or fully secondary bony palate. they must have form a new line then these become advance a new advance line. True crocodilian is spinosauridae mesoeucrocodylia they have strongest bite force in thecodont and dinosaur .they have fully secondary bony palate and death roll system the most superior dinosaur technology.the early mesoeucrocodylia they are 2 type.spinosauridae no neural arch or neural arch on neck and tail only 3 finger turtle shell like skin primitive sphenosuchus palate architecture and lack palate that is fuse to braincase spinosaurus has joint on sail hump neural spine this will stop tabloid claim that sail fuse to other backbone which can not happen in mesoeucrocodylia they will die in death roll roll over that why all mesoeucrocodylia lack neural arch most thecodont have neural arch.primitive lizard lack neural arch .all mesoeucrocodylia have big sail neural spine for big death roll muscle spinosaurus is just a little bit bigger. Spinosauridae brain is bigger for bipedal brain feature can not rotate arm baryonyx teeth are close together t.rex spinosaurus Nile croc are not. Spinosauridae peg like femur all ankle bone is fuse can not sprawl only 2 bone fuse to braincase.gator type early mesoeucrocodylia neural arch on neck and tail sphenosuchus palate the palate is not fuse to braincase 4 to 6 bone fuse to braincase only one fossil with 4 bone . Can sprawl all ankle bone is not fuse smaller brain in semi aquatic won .turtle shell like skin 5 finger only 3 finger claws no peg femur and peg like ankle can rotate there arm I do not think they have joint on neural spine spinosaurus backbone was unique and they did not have strong turtle skin that why they have those joint they had weaker skin like modern crocodilian.eusuchian mesoeucrocodylia palate fuse to braincase monster centra backbone joint they can swim faster run faster 6 bone fuse to braincase . advance eusuchian braincase bone shift jaw muscle shift only 3 toe claw .back to early mesoeucrocodylia spinosauridae nose hole is behind the kink snout spinosaurus is even more whale like .reduce nose hole in the skull .tyrannosaur like theropod has big nose hole even thou t.rex eat like gator and have full palate it’s skull is more like other theropod bird like spinosauridae skull was just like other mesoeucrocodylia they were first in dinosaur to reduce antorbital fenestra and reduce nose hole nile croc does not have antorbital fenestra his nose is before kink reduce hole in the skull make the skull strong dwarf crocodile and gator both have fuse nose hole this show there is lot of stress behind kink and before kink fuse nose is primitive feature but it will make skull stronger the advance kind choose this way spinosaurus nose hole is very small spinosauridae skull is very primitive too long and thin and mammal high because they lack 6 bone fuse to braincase they can not make it in many shape to take on world and live in different place look at the gharial missing important feature in skull still strong enough to do the death roll or false gharial very flat skull no problem killing big prey it’s well known men eating .allso baryonyx has dinosaur tail a very poor swimming tail that why snout is so big .in mesoeucrocodylia bigger skull stronger the skull the gharial has biggest skull and weakes skull because missing feature second the false gharial .longer the skull bigger the palate main strength in the skull higher the skull stronger the skull is like spinosauridae dwarf caiman they have mammal like skull spinosauridae skull is very strong but could not crush metal like modern crocodilian these animal are very dangerous .spinosauridae is a tyrannosaur what the different t.rex has short secondary bony palate a weaker bite and snout is smaller another weaker feature spinosauridae has kink a primitive feature not found any tetanuran they split off early in there evolution .on gator 5 finger it’s common in marine reptile to grow there finger back and modern crocodilian is more of warm blooded animal clearly by heart spleen kidney fatty battery flow true lung and is more like top of line mammal you can see by dinosaur furcula gator well develope pectoral girdle a flight feature monster centra joint these are fast dangerous animal a normal reptile will die evolve some thing like that.on eusuchian the palate can trace to Nile crocodile today crocodilian name only use for advance eusuchian mesoeucrocodylia the 3 toe claw modern crocodilian.modern crocodilian is so fast if they do not have those monster centra joint they can die hunting a prey in a fast attack

Robert (In Australia) on December 17, 2019:

The article states that the Nile Crocodile is the one that humans should fear most (According to CrocBITE - in that it kills more people than others).

A most misleading statistic.

The Nile Delta is incredibly densely populated by humans.

The Australian range of the Saltie is very sparsely populated by humans - but a few get taken every year anyway (mostly tourists - who think they are in Europe or that a croc will act like a 'gator - it's amazing how many people think that "if they leave a saltie alone - it will leave them alone").

The article also states "Crocodiles, on the other hand, are much more bad-tempered and far more likely to attack humans, even unprovoked.".

Not strictly true. It's not so much that they are "bad-tempered" as much as they simply see humans as just another form of food.

......... They see anything and everything as just another form of food - much like a Great White (shark).

To a 'gator - I believe that humans are an"apex predator".

To a "croc" - you is a cupcake.

Sheila Rowland on November 22, 2019:

If the difference in the snout is a main identifyer, why is the gharial designated a croc and not an alligator?

CJ Notta on November 08, 2019:

Thank you so very much for the information that you have provided ,it has helped me a lot to learn more about Crocodiles and Alligators. just a few things are in my mind just I would like to ask .. how can one determine whether it's a male or female? are the female cros and gators as evenly or are more stronger then the male cros and gators? can a male Croc or gator kill their females for food?

Mitzi Gay on August 28, 2019:

In argument with difference crocs crawl whole body but tail off ground gators slither

Rosemary Mcgrory on July 18, 2019:

Do crocs and alligators kill the same way ?

Kierstin Gunsberg from Traverse City, Michigan on June 29, 2019:

Paul, I’m trying to put my daughter to bed when she starts asking he difference between crocs and gators - of course I had to look it up for her before she fell asleep and your article was one of the first results and definitely the BEST. Great, informative article!

Dickson, from Nigeria. on June 18, 2019:

I don't agree with the claim that alligators are only found in us and in China, there are alligators in Nigeria, I don't know of every place but in my area we have alligator, though not commonly seen as the crocodiles.

kalegang on May 02, 2019:

commenting about Athena

its because the everglades has brackish water

athena on April 06, 2019:

Thank you very much. I now know the difference between crocodiles and alligators, but I have a doubt. I tis clear to me that crocodiles and alligators live in different places around the world but, why can there be crocodiles and alligators in the same place: The Everglades.

Devin on April 05, 2019:

I found this article very interesting. I now know the differences between crocodiles and alligators.

Arn Scott on March 28, 2019:

Any crocs in New Zealand?

CROCODILES! on February 27, 2019:

Q: What's the similarity between a Crocodile and Windows? A: Neither of them has enough bytes!


trolololol on February 27, 2019:

very very fun to read

John on February 26, 2019:

In terms of cowboy boots, does alligator or caiman leather hold up better than cow leather?

kyle on February 19, 2019:

Can an alligator and a crocodile breed to make a "crocogator"? I mean, ligers and zonkeys are a thing so maybe?

james on February 09, 2019:

How long do they live and how can you tell their approximate age. What are the differences between the male and female alligators and how does one determine whether it is a male or female ? How often does a female give birth and how many babies do they have on average. Are there more males than females or vice versa for the alligators and the crocodiles? Which species is hunted for its meat and by whom? Do people consider them a tasty treat. What part of this reptile is eaten if any? Are any of them poisonous and if you were bitten by one would you need to get an immediate vaccine like you would for a rattlesnake for example?

couldbecarson on November 14, 2018:

thanks guys!

Just a fun reader on November 01, 2018:

Thanks my bro had a project I helped him with

Kate Hemsworth from United States on October 09, 2018:

My nightmare. Ugh ... Nile Crocodile Hmmm

So much for that river trip. Great Hub.

Elegbede ayodeji on August 11, 2018:

it was a good idea

yeah right on July 21, 2018:

Thank you so much u helped with a merit badge in boy scouts I loved your article!

tersoo nguher on July 09, 2018:

it makes scense

croclover101 on May 26, 2018:

gee whiz thx so much that was gr8

indio and cheyenne on May 23, 2018:

that is very interesting very helpful


09871234563 on May 16, 2018:

very useful

Meghan Androsuk on May 10, 2018:

Steve Irwin was the best croc hunter !

Ottoman on May 09, 2018:

its so helpful, thanks a lot.

The Famous OA on May 07, 2018:

Wow. I never knew that there was a difference! So cool!

123456789 on May 02, 2018:

this was so useful thank u so much

Jahzara on April 20, 2018:

This was nice

julian on April 17, 2018:

thanks alot.

Australian Hunta Mate' on April 17, 2018:

I have seen every species of croc. You got the green ones, the ones who try to go for ya package, the fiesty ones, and you can't forget the momma crocs. Each one is pretty dangerous mate'. I can't believe anyone could not see the difference between a mean ol croc and an alligator mate'. It's plain out silly. I have seen everything in the outback. The old alligators are nothin' but little lizards to me mate'.

bill on April 16, 2018:

thxs this has helped me understand

cool dude on March 29, 2018:

cool information

Hadlie Baxter on March 29, 2018:

thx so much

jeffy on March 29, 2018:

this has helped

blup on March 29, 2018:

ok now i know what the differences are thxs

tori lewis on March 29, 2018:

thxs this helped me

Charley on March 29, 2018:

Thanks for the awesome info

lebron james on March 29, 2018:

this has been the best teaching ever thank you

Paul Goodman (author) from Florida USA on February 22, 2018:

Habitat is Number 3.

jarvis on February 22, 2018:

you missed out the habitat section which was supposed to be No. 2

Me on February 19, 2018:

THANK YOU!!! Makes homework so much easier.

Aareev on February 05, 2018:

Thanks you helped me on my english project.

entiy303/herobrien on January 30, 2018:

thanks for your help!

James on January 30, 2018:

Thanks helped me on my essay!

Benjamin Lynn on January 29, 2018:


Tala on January 23, 2018:

It is really helpful ! Thx

merl on January 01, 2018:

yes got it, thanks

Croc Expert on December 27, 2017:

The author left out the most important distinction: if he'll see you later, then its an alligator. If it's after a while, then it's a crocodile. :)

Makenzie on December 22, 2017:

this sit is amazing!

Elainel Morel on December 19, 2017:

Thanks for the information

Angel on December 03, 2017:

IT HELPED me a lot in my studies !!!!!!!!!!!

Mahdes on December 02, 2017:


I give thanks for this helpful article. the next 2 days i'm going to give a presentation to my ecology teacher and guess what's the topic? differences between alligators and crocodiles!

Jonathan Schweitzer on November 21, 2017:

A croc swam from Dania Beach(FL) over to Hollywood Beach(FL) before being retrieved by Fish&Game on 11/20/2017.

Ethan on November 16, 2017:

Helped while doing venn giagram

Jacob on November 15, 2017:

Helped me a lot with my speech for school, thank you!

Megan on November 07, 2017:

Those were some snazzy turtles

Babar Dharani on November 07, 2017:

Great write-up! Thank you

Shubhadeep Roy on November 04, 2017:

I love crocodiles

abbi on October 18, 2017:

It is a wonderful website which teaches us about animals.I'm proud of this website

Mike on October 17, 2017:

Not sure what metric you are using for comparison but as far as pure strength is concerned, Crocs have a stronger bite than gators--as long as you are comparing similar size specimens. A gator does have a bigger mouth (which is one reason they have less bite pressure--the force is spread over a larger area) so may be fair to say they have a more devastating bite overall. Also, croc jaw muscles are about 1/3 larger (again, this is for similar sized specimens). Crocs win the bite force comparison by a factor of about 2.

Jose on September 29, 2017:

Used this to do a speech in my college class, was very helpful thanks dude

Daryl on September 23, 2017:

Alligators are fast, got chased by one while on bike. I was able to pull away, alligator then gave up, went back in woods.

Barkat Ali Swati on August 27, 2017:

It's really good. I 've some doubts about them that were cleared now. Thanks

Ahmed Shareef on August 11, 2017:

Thanks for this information because I really need this information for my studies

Steve on July 28, 2017:

I live in Zimbabwe. We have Lake Kariba which is a fresh water lake. There are millions of crocodiles there. There used to only be 1 per square metre. Now there's like 10 per square metre in a Lake that is 223km x 40km (22300m x 4000m)

Peter on July 12, 2017:

That was very informative! Thanks.

See a pointy nose and teeth...get gone!

Snapdragon 3 on June 28, 2017:

I've seen on other videos that another differences is how they open the jaws to caught prey. One open the upper jaw while the other open the lower jaw. Is this true and which is which?

Agnieska on June 20, 2017:

My 5 years old daughter easy spots differences :) and im wondering where did she learn that if she didn't start school yet. Today in another Zoo again she didn't miss and I wanted to cry beeing such stupud - thx for the lecture!

Julia on June 09, 2017:

I was left a little confused. The article seems to contradict itself several times, sometimes within one sentence.

Mike baker on June 03, 2017:

I love crocodile meat

bob smith on May 29, 2017:

it helped me alot

Seleena on May 27, 2017:

these are really interesting facts but very dangerous.

unknow on May 23, 2017:

do you know anyone that has been attacked by either one

Laetitea Halin from Estoril / Metz on September 28, 2016:

Here we have a good explanation. In fact, many people confuse crocodiles, alligators and caimans.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 09, 2015:

thanks for telling us the differences. Alligators are not so wild as crocs

Tom Mukasa from Lives in USA on November 11, 2013:

Thanks. I do admire those who came before us and who without technology such as night vision video recorders, nor cameras nor guns were able to observe animals as they grazed, fed and protected their young. Thanks once again for throwing more light on the Alligator and Crocodile. I wonder which of the two would sleep with mouth open without fear of its tongue being a meal for another? These are two animals that terrorize others in the waters!

Rebecca E. from Canada on October 08, 2013:

well can't say i didn't learn anything here. All the more reason to avoid an alligator.

Jackson on May 22, 2013:

thanks people, im doing a report and this was far better then any other website

Howard on April 30, 2013:

This made my homework way easier

keldrick on September 19, 2012:

crocodilias are cool

Rikki Lowe on March 14, 2012:

Thanks for the information! You helped me a lot!!! :)

bla on October 12, 2011:

it helps

CoryMladen on July 28, 2011:

For me both are charming, well I won't dare to get closer to them :)

Paul Goodman (author) from Florida USA on June 02, 2011:

Alligators are actually pretty timid and will try to run/swim away if approached. I think it's still best to be wary of them, as they have a bonecrushing bite! :-)

MsQuestion from New Jersey on June 02, 2011:

Okay! I always wondered what the difference was! If I see either one,though, I'm running away! (Although here in New York..probably NOT going to happen).

klarawieck on May 13, 2011:

Great hub! I love watching them in the Everglades, which is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist.

Now about the turtles... true those alligators can crush their shells, but they surely like to surf and sunbathe on top of those sleeping logs!

Paul Goodman (author) from Florida USA on April 10, 2011:

Thank you for pointing out the video problem, Will. I have now replaced it! :-)

Will Apse on April 09, 2011:

Your second vid comes up as 'private' which is a shame- the first one was great.

I enjoyed the rest of the page, too.

Paul Goodman (author) from Florida USA on April 08, 2011:

Thank you very much for your kind words and the podcast feature, Simone. I am honored by your interest in my work! :-)