crocodile and alligator
Crocodiles and alligators are top-notch hunters and will eat just about anything they can get their teeth on, from fish and turtles to monkeys and buffalo. With teeth specialized just for spearing, neither family even bothers to chew its food — they swallow large chunks or the entire animal whole.
Here’s a bit of interesting trivia for you: All alligators are crocodiles, but not all crocodiles are alligators. Sound confusing? It’s really not once you look at the taxonomy.
Coming face to face with a crocodile or an alligator, you’d see a mouth full of serrated teeth that would likely scare the bejeezus out of you.
Upon closer inspection, not recommended out in the wild, you’d spot glaring differences:
Studies have reported that a high percentage of female alligators will continuously mate with the same male alligators for life. On the other hand, it is typical for young batches of crocodile babies to come from multiple mates.
Both animals have small sensory pits along their jaws that allow them to detect pressure changes in the water, and to locate and capture prey. Neither reptile is a big fan of chewing their food; they both prefer to swallow large chunks or swallow the animal whole. Crocodiles have higher functioning salt glands, which allows them to excrete higher amounts of salt from water than alligators can. Alligators’ glands do not function as strongly, therefore they are less tolerant to saltwater environments and prefer freshwater. With this capability, crocodiles are successful in migrating across multiple marine bodies.
The differences are small, and not something you could easily spot in the wild. But the finding may provide insights into the ways in which the two reptiles move. The study was published last week in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
But Dr. Hutchinson added that he was not entirely convinced by the findings, suggesting that the small differences might have resulted from missing cartilage in the museum specimens. “Or, it could be a real difference that reflects something of broader importance such as movement patterns,” Dr. Hutchinson said.
While often confused for one another, Alligators and Crocodiles are actually very different reptiles…not only in their physical appearances but also in a variety of other ways including their diets, habitat and mannerisms.
Now, there is one slight challenge to this video…Mario and Coyote actually have to FIND and CATCH an Alligator and a Crocodile!