Alligatoridae – Alligators

U-shaped snout? It’s an alligator! V-shaped snout? A crocodile!

You can readily distinguish an Alligator from a crocodile by jaw shapes. A more subtle difference is that alligators are not toothy like crocodiles who can’t seem to help keep their teeth hidden. Unlike crocodiles, alligators have a long, rounded snout with upward-facing nostrils at the end; this allows breathing to occur while the rest of the body is underwater.

An often-asked question is: who’d win if an alligator and a crocodile met face-to-face in a fight? Alligators and caimans are smaller and comparatively weaker than crocodiles; I think we can make an educated guess now. But these species usually don’t cohabit (except in the Everglades of Florida and a handful of locations in Central America).

Alligators and caimans prefer slow-moving freshwater habitats but can tolerate salt water for a few hours.