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There are structural and physiological differences between the two types of crocodilians. The alligator has a much more specific habitat, being the Yangtze river in China and the swamps of the southeastern US. Only in the state of Florida will the two have nearby habitats. Lacking a functional salt gland, alligators cannot live in salt water.

The easiest way to distinguish them is that in a crocodile, both lower and upper teeth are visible when the mouth is closed. In the alligator, the upper jaw covers the lower jaw. The shape of the head is also different : the crocodile has a V-shaped snout, which is very long and narrow in front, while the alligator's snout is more U-shaped.

The crocodile's coloration is olive brown, while the alligator's color appears to be darker, nearly black. The length of these two reptiles are also different. The adult alligator's length is up to 14 feet (4.3 meters), while crocodiles can grow up to 19 feet (5.8 meters) or more. In terms of nesting, the crocodile lays their eggs in mud or sand nests or near brackish water, while the alligator lays their eggs in mounds of vegetation surrounding freshwater. In the US, crocodiles are only found in the southern tip of Florida, though they can also be found in the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Alligators are found in the southeastern United States, and South Florida is the only known place in the world where crocodiles and alligators cohabit the same areas.

(see the related links for more information about the difference between an alligator and a crocodile)

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โˆ™ 2011-05-25 23:57:19
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Q: What is the difference between alligators and crocodiles?
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