Alligators And Crocodiles

Alligators And Crocodiles

Alligators and crocodiles are both reptiles and both belong to the order; crocodilian. Obviously, both animals share a lot of correspondences, but you should know there are a truck load of differences between these famous reptiles which we would discuss today.
Florida Aligator

Photo by Ken and Nyetta
Crocodiles have a longer, more V-shaped head then alligators, and the fourth tooth of a crocodile sticks out when its mouth is closed. They are more aggressive than alligators and better adapted to living in seawater. Crocodiles are lighter than alligators. In the wild alligators are only found in the US and China, and crocodiles all over the world.
Alligators (and caimans) have a wide “U”-shaped rounded snout and crocodiles tend to have longer and more pointed “V”-shaped noses .While some species of crocodile live in seawater, alligators strongly live in freshwater. Alligators have a darker appearance than crocodiles, and they are less aggressive than crocodiles.

Alligators And Crocodiles As Pets

Although there are some people who keep them as pets there are many things that are too much to handle for a regular pet owner. The most important thing about these animals is of course gigantic size that adults are capable of reaching; Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) and Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are capable of reaching up to 20 feet in length and weighing in at up to one ton! Except the most dedicated and experienced reptile experts with ready access to a large room dedicated to properly housing one of these guys. For the most smallest member of the family dwarf cayman, the suggested minimum size of an enclosure is 5 ft, with approximately 1/2 water and 1/2 land.

Adult specimen is about 15 feet in length. For the larger species their enclosure must be built by their measurements. The animal will need a large amount of water to swim comfortably and a powerful, effective filtration systems for large bodies of water wich are very expensive.

They will often move plants and other decorative things because they dig, smack with their tail or use their mouth to manipulate their environment. As they dig burrows in the wild there has to ba a sand, so they can dig in enclose too.

You would also need a powerful source of UVA/UVB light available for the crocodile to bask in during the day. The lights must be present because it is helping them in feeding, digestion, social/reproductive behaviors, and proper activity levels for regulating the synthesis of vitamin D3 in the organism.

Differences between Alligators and Crocodiles:

  • The crocodile has a more extensive and V-shaped head than that of an alligators; an alligator has a U-shaped mouth
  • Alligators are not as aggressive as crocodiles
  • Crocodiles are better adapted to the sea than alligators
  • Alligators are darker than crocodiles
  • Crocodiles are found almost all over the world while alligators are found in some selected locations like the US and China.
  • Alligators only live in fresh water while there are some crocodile species that can survive in sea water.
  • Crocodiles have salt gland on their tongue unlike alligators
  • Alligators are often larger than crocodiles reaching as long as 16 feet; although some crocodile species can grow as long as 20 feet but not all can grow that long, the African dwarf crocodile for instance can’t grow larger than 6 feet

Can crocodiles be kept as pets?

The answer is both yes and no; although there are some people who keep them as pets, there are many requirements and precautions about these animals as pets that can be too daunting for a regular pet owner.

One of the most observable features about these animals is the gigantic sizes the adults are capable of reaching; Nile and saltwater crocodiles can measure up to 20 feet in length and can weigh up to a ton in weight. If you must keep a croc, you might consider one of the smallest of the crocodile specie; the dwarf crocodile; their enclosure does not require a lot of space, while larger species would require a lot of space because of their tremendous sizes.

Your crocodiles` enclosure should be built with approximately half water and half land ratio, and will need a large amount of water to swim comfortably in with an effective filtration system for large bodies of water which are quite expensive.

They often would clear out plants and other gizmos in their stockade because they whack their strong tails about or use their mouth to manipulate their surroundings and also dig; just as they dig burrows in the wild, they would also do in captivity, so you should provide them with enough sand to dig.

You would also need a powerful artificial source of Ultraviolet light available so the crocodile could bask during the day. These lights must be present because it helps in many of their important functions such as digestion, feeding and most importantly in their synthesis of vitamin D3 and without the proper synthesis of vitamin D3, the animal wouldn’t be able to absorb and process calcium in its diet. This deficiency could then lead to a number of health problems, including metabolic bone disease.

Never forget that crocodiles have the most formidable jaws in the animal kingdom today, so be really careful around them.