Difference between Alligators and Crocodiles
What is the difference between an Alligator and a Crocodile?
- The alligators have a snout that is U-shaped while crocodiles have a narrow and V-shaped snout.
- Alligators are found in fresh water whereas crocodiles live in both fresh and salt water.
- Crocodiles have salt glands on their tongue, the excess salt in food and water leaves their body through these glands.
- Alligators are shy animals and avoid humans, unlike crocodiles.
- Alligators have 75 teeth, while crocodile teeth number 24.
4 Interesting Facts about Crocodiles
- Crocodiles are the largest living reptiles. Belonging to the Triassic Period, these creatures have been around for over 240 million years. Archosaurs were their prehistoric ancestors.
- They have a long pointed snout, protruding eyes and nostrils. It is this feature that allows them to breathe and see while their bodies are underwater. They have large bony plates on their skin which act as armour.
- The crocodile bite is the strongest animal bite in the world.
- Baby crocodiles are born with a horn or a tooth, called the ‘egg tooth’ which is used by them to break the egg and come out. This tooth falls off once they break through the egg.
3 Interesting Facts about Alligators
- There are two kinds of alligators, the American alligator and the Chinese alligator. American alligators can be 15 feet long. They can weigh about 450 kilograms. They live in Southern USA in ponds, lakes, swamps and slow moving rivers.
- Chinese alligators are smaller, about 5 feet. They just weigh about 23 kilograms. These are found in Eastern China, in a small area in the Yangtse river basin. This species is critically endangered.
- Alligators can’t control their body temperature internally, so they take a dip when they want to cool off and sun themselves when they want to get warm. They hunt in water, using their tails to move quickly. The temperature of an alligator’s nest determines the gender of a baby alligator.
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