Know the Difference Between Alligators and Crocodiles

Because they are members of the same phylogenetic order, alligators and crocodiles are easily confused. Both have lizard-like bodies, tough skin, long tails, stubby legs, elongated snouts, and large teeth. However, both reptiles have distinguishing characteristics that can help you determine which is which.

We’ve created a comparison of the alligator vs. crocodile to demonstrate their physical characteristics, feeding habits, the threat they pose to humans, and which would win a fight.

You’ll be able to tell these reptiles apart from a safe distance the next time you see one. Let’s check out how to find out the difference between alligators and crocodiles in this article. Before we start, I would like to Thank you for visiting LovePetMaster.

Even though they are both members of the Crocodilia order, alligators and crocodiles are distinct species. Alligators and crocodiles are distinguished by their size, color, and snout shape.

Alligators have a U-shaped snout, are smaller and timider than crocodiles, and are black or grey on top with a cream-colored underside.

Crocodiles are larger, more aggressive, green or brown in color, and have a V-shaped snout.

Both the alligator and the crocodile are not to be approached or antagonized. Despite their ability to flee, they are territorial creatures that cause harm to people every year.


Both of them are members of the same scientific order, but they belong to different families. Crocodiles and alligators are both members of the Crocodylia, but crocodiles belong to the Crocodylidae family, whereas alligators belong to the Alligatordae family.


Crocodiles can be found in both freshwater and saltwater, whereas alligators prefer freshwater. The Florida Everglades is the only place on the planet where alligators and crocodiles coexist.


Their appearances are the most noticeable difference. Crocodiles have longer, more pointed snouts than alligators, which have shorter, more rounded snouts. When an alligator’s mouth is closed, you can’t see any of its teeth. When a crocodile closes its mouth, its back teeth protrude above the top lip, revealing a toothy grin. Alligator snouts are stronger than crocodile snouts because they are wider, allowing them to crush hard-shelled prey such as turtles. Crocodiles are typically lighter in color, with tans and brown markings, whereas alligators are darker, with more grey and black markings.


Both members have a keen sense of smell, which makes them excellent hunters. Both are nightmares for their prey, with sharp above-water vision, night vision, sensitive hearing, and vertical pupils that take in additional light. And, because they have an above-water vision, you can expect to see them peering up during your Everglades airboat tour.

Both animals have small sensory pits along their jaws that allow them to detect changes in water pressure as well as locate and capture prey. Neither reptile enjoys chewing their food; instead, they prefer to swallow large chunks or the entire animal. Crocodiles have more functional salt glands than alligators, allowing them to excrete more salt from water. Because alligators’ glands do not function as well, they are less tolerant of saltwater environments and prefer freshwater. Crocodiles are able to migrate across multiple marine bodies thanks to this ability.


According to research, a high percentage of female alligators will mate with the same male alligators for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, it is common for young crocodile batches to produce by multiple mates.


Crocodiles are frequently thought to be far more aggressive than alligators. While both animals should be avoided at all costs, alligators in the Everglades are more docile than crocodiles, attacking only when hungry or provoked. Crocodiles have been known to attack simply because someone or something is nearby; crocodiles are more active in the water. Alligators in the Everglades prefer to sunbathe or lounge on the banks or in the mud near the water.

Life expectancy

Crocodiles have a longer lifespan than alligators. A crocodile has an average lifespan of 70–100 years, whereas an alligator has an average lifespan of 30–50 years. If you take an Everglades airboat tour with Everglades Holiday Park, the airboat captains may be able to point out some crocodiles they have seen for years.

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