What’s the difference between alligators and crocodiles?

Alligators are in the same reptilian order as crocodiles, but these two ancient Crocodilians are two different types of animal. Alligators inhabit fresh water where crocodiles can live in salt water, because crocodiles can expel salt with special glands on their tongue. A huge difference is the positioning of the teeth in these animals. Only the sharp top teeth are visible on an alligator, but a crocodile flashes enormous top and bottom teeth at once.

Alligators tend to have ‘U’ shaped jaws, and crocodiles lave pointed ‘V’ shaped mouths. The skin of a crocodile is covered in tiny pits that look like small dots, which are skin pressure receptors that help detect movement of prey in water. Alligators only have these spots on their jaws, but if you’re close enough to see that then you might be in trouble.

Both alligators and crocodiles are incredible hunters who barely even chew their food! Their vertical pupils open extra wide to let in maximum light during the night and their hearing is so acute they can hear their young calling from inside their eggs! The scaly pattern on the skin of a Crocodilian is actually where their skin cracked as the animal grew, and their spiny tail is powerful enough to propel them at 25mph.

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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/fvanrenterghem/2641634391