When identifying an alligator or a crocodile look closely at the head. Crocodiles have long and narrow snouts with a V-shape. Alligators have U-shape to their snouts making them look fatter in the head. The jaw of the crocodiles is the same length on the upper and lower portions, making the teeth visible even when they close their mouths. By contrast alligators have most of their teeth inside their mouths.

Alligators get their names from Spanish explorers and the word “lagarto”. Crocodiles get their name from the Greek word “crocodilos”. Louisiana and Florida hold the largest population of alligators in the world.

There are 14 species and subspecies of crocodiles spread out along South America, Central America, Asia and Australia on the coast lines or estuaries. In Africa, Indonesia, and India, crocodiles live across the entire country. Crocodiles do no like cold climates and tend to be near warmer and temperate zones. Crocodiles are built to live in salt water using their salt gland to filter out salt.

Alligators have the potential to grow over 15 feet and 1000 pounds. Some crocodiles can grow over 23 feet and up to 2000 pounds. Both alligators will prey upon fish, snails, amphibians, mammals small and large including humans.