You have probably ever wondered if there is a difference between crocodiles and alligators or if there are criteria to differentiate them, this time we will share with you the crucial points to identify them correctly.

Recently it has become popular on social networks an image where there are two reptiles that are allegedly a crocodile and the one next to it is an alligator, but which one is which?

To make this task easier, we will tell you what are the differences between the two species and then some characteristic data of each one.

Differences between crocodiles and alligators

Crocodiles and alligators are two different species of reptiles that belong to the same family, Crocodylidae. Here are some of the most outstanding differences between the two:

Physical appearance: alligators are usually smaller than crocodiles. Crocodiles have a longer and thinner snout, while alligators have a shorter and wider snout.

Habitat: Crocodiles live in salt or brackish water, while alligators prefer fresh water.

Geographic distribution: Crocodiles are found in all tropical regions of the world, while caimans are found mainly in Central and South America.

Behavior: Crocodiles are more aggressive than caimans and tend to be more territorial. Caimans are more likely to avoid humans and other animals.

Reproduction: Crocodiles lay their eggs in a nest on the beach, while alligators lay their eggs in a nest in the water.

Teeth: Crocodiles have larger and sharper teeth than alligators.

As you can see, there are several key points to recognize them properly, with the data we are about to show you, you will be able to have a better knowledge of these powerful reptiles.

Curious facts about crocodiles

  • Crocodiles are one of the oldest reptiles still existing on Earth. Crocodile fossils have been found dating back more than 200 million years.
  • Crocodiles can live up to 70 years in the wild.
  • Crocodiles are excellent swimmers and can submerge in water for more than an hour without breathing due to their ability to store oxygen in their blood and muscles.
  • Crocodiles have a very powerful bite and are capable of exerting a force of over 3,700 pounds per square inch (psi), making them the animals with the most powerful bite in the world.
  • Despite being predators feared by many animals, crocodiles are also known to have a symbiotic relationship with some bird species, such as red-footed boobies, which perch on their backs to feed on parasites and food debris left on their skin.

Curious facts about caimans

  • Caimans have a geographic distribution limited to Central and South America. They can be found in countries such as Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.
  • Unlike crocodiles, caimans have a shorter and wider snout and a wider head in general.
  • Caimans are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods, including fish, crustaceans, birds, mammals and plants.
  • Although alligators may appear clumsy and slow on land, they are excellent swimmers and divers. They can remain submerged for extended periods of time and move through the water thanks to their powerful tails.
  • Caimans have a hierarchical social structure and can be very territorial during mating season. Males emit guttural sounds and strike their jaws to attract females and defend their territories.

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