It's World Crocodile Day, a day to raise awareness about the plight of these endangered species who are subjected to culling in most parts of the world. These biggest reptiles on this planet, also face the loss of their natural habitat and are often farmed for meat. It's bad enough that they are facing evictions and are intensively hunted for food and leather, now they are also mistaken for alligators, too. Identity theft is no joke folks. Since they do look quite similar in appearance, it does baffle the brain to tell them apart. Also, when faced with either of these reptiles, we're sure you're busy running for your lives rather than waiting around to identify their distinct characteristics. But it does help to know the difference, to at least throw your clout around a bit.

So how do you tell a crocodile from an alligator?  The most obvious way to discern the two is to take a look at their stouts. Alligators have U-shaped faces, wide and short, while crocodiles have  V-shaped muzzles. If you are brave of heart this will be an option for you. But for the rest of us who don't fancy being their dinner, there are various other ways to discern them apart. Here are the differences between crocodiles and alligators.

Check their grin

When their jaws are shut, crocodiles look like they're grinning. With Crocodiles, the fourth tooth on each side of the lower jaw is pointing upward over the upper lip. In alligators, when their jaws are shut, all their teeth are hidden since the upper jaw is wider than the lower one.

Check Their Habitat

Crocodiles tend to hang out in saltwater habitats. Alligators establish their base in freshwater marshes and lakes.


Crocodiles tend to live longer than alligators. The average lifespan of a crocodile is between 70-100 years. Alligators usually live for 30-50 years.

Aggressive Factor

Crocodiles tend to be relatively more aggressive than alligators. Crocodiles attack when they merely sense a presence and attack without due cause, while alligators only attack if they are hungry or feel that they're under attack. This doesn't mean you seek out an alligator for sport, stay away from both these reptiles as they can turn on you without a moments notice.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 17, 2021 10:30 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website