Difference between Crocodile and Cayman

Crocodiles have a long, pointed snout. In contrast, alligators have rather rounded, U-shaped snouts. This is the main difference between the two animals. Other differences include the shape of their jaws and their hind limbs. As for their behavior, this is radically different, since crocodiles are much more aggressive than alligators.

Comparison table

Coloration dark; black or greyish. Olive Green, Brown
Snout They have a broad, U-shaped snout. In contrast, the snout of crocodiles is elongated, V-shaped.
Aggressiveness Alligators are not usually overly aggressive. On the contrary, crocodiles tend to be much more aggressive and territorial.
Fresh water or salt water? It is more common to find them in fresh water. Instead, crocodiles prefer brackish or salt water, although they are also found in fresh water.
lingual saline gland Not functional Functional
Habitat Mainly in the southern United States and China. Also in Africa, South America and some areas of Asia. Throughout America, Australia and Africa.
Length On average an adult reaches 4.3 meters. An adult can reach 5.8 meters.
Nesting They usually spawn in the vegetation that surrounds bodies of water. They choose to nest in mud and sand.
Location of the integumentary sensory organs Mainly around the jaws. They are found throughout the body.
lower jaw teeth The teeth of the lower jaw cannot be seen with the naked eye. In contrast, the teeth of the lower jaw are visible even with the snout closed.
Life expectancy From 30 to 50 years. From 70 to 100 years.

Contents: Crocodile vs. Alligator

1. Physical differences
1.1 Snout
1.2 Jaws
1.3 Hindlimbs
1.4 Size
2. Behavioral differences
3. Habitat
4. Conservation
5. Taxonomy
6. References (in English)

physical differences


Alligators have a U-shaped snout with a rounded tip. On the other hand, crocodiles tend to have longer, more pointed, V-shaped snouts.


In contrast, in crocodilians, the upper and lower jaws are roughly the same size. It is for this reason that the lower teeth fit right on the margin of the upper one even with the snout closed. Therefore, the teeth are arranged in a kind of gear. The fangs on each side of a crocodile’s lower jaw are outside the snout when it closes.Alligators have a larger upper jaw than the lower, so it ends up overlapping. For this reason, the teeth of the lower jaw are almost completely hidden when the snout is closed. These teeth fit into small spaces in the upper jaw, achieving a scissor bite or overbite. The tusks on each side of an alligator’s lower jaw fit snugly into the spaces in the upper jaw and vice versa.

Hind limbs

Crocodiles have a serrated stripe on their hind limbs, while alligators do not. Alligators have webbed feet, while crocodiles do not.


The American alligator is the largest of two extant species of alligators, with an average of between 1.8 and 3.6 meters, although specimens have been known to measure more than 6 meters. The Chinese alligator, on the other hand, is smaller. This has an average of one and a half meters in length and a maximum recorded length of 2.5 meters.

On the other hand, crocodiles are considered the largest and heaviest reptiles that exist today. For example, the Nile crocodile ( Crocodylus Niloticus ) in Africa and the saltwater crocodile ( Crocodylus Porosus ) in Australia are the largest recorded species. It is estimated that they can reach more than 6 meters and weigh more than 1000 kilos. Smaller species such as the postrust crocodile ( Paleosuchus ) and the dwarf crocodile ( Osteolaemus Tetraspis ), which barely reach more than half a meter in length when fully grown.

Differences in their behavior

The differences in their behavior are also notable. Many people perceive crocodiles as more aggressive than alligators. This may be true in some species. When alligator keepers at a zoo clean up their habitats, they find that alligators don’t react immediately to provocations. On the other hand, crocodiles react aggressively to the mere presence of people in their habitat.


Alligators prefer fresh water, while crocodiles can be found in brackish water. They tolerate it because they have lingual salt glands that help them expel salt from their bodies. Although some alligators also have these glands, everything seems to indicate that they have lost the ability to use them and therefore prefer to stay away from salty waters.


There are many species of crocodiles that are threatened. For example, the largest crocodile in South America, the Orinoco crocodile, is on the verge of extinction.


Crocodiles and alligators are reptiles that belong to the order Crocodilia . This order has existed for more than 80 million years on Earth.

Crocodile: Animalia, Chordata, Sauropsida, Crocodilia, Crocodylidae.
Cayman: Animalia, Chordata, Sauropsida, Crocodilia, Alligatoridae, Cayman

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