Alligator vs Crocodile!


– I’m Coyote Peterson,
this is Mario Aldecoa, one of these two
reptiles is an alligator and the other is a crocodile. Do you know which is which? Stay tuned ’cause we’re
about to show you. (dramatic tribal music) Welcome back, everyone. OK, so what I have in
my hands right here, this is the American alligator. – And what I have in my hands is the American crocodile. – And right now we’re
in south Florida. And what’s really awesome
about this location is that this is the
only place in the world where these two reptile’s
territories overlap. However, catching
these two animals was far easier said than done. Let’s take a look at
last night’s catches. There’s something right here.
– [Voiceover] Where is it? Hold on, I don’t see it.
– [Coyote] Right there, right in front of you.
– [Voiceover] I don’t see it. – [Voiceover] Stay
right there, let me see if I can get closer. I got a shot on him, so if
you wanna go, go for it. – [Mario] OK, I got
it, one, two, three. I got it, I got it. – [Coyote] Nice, whew! Great grab.
– [Mario] Whew! – [Coyote] All right!
– [Mario] Yes. – [Coyote] Wow, well,
that right there is the first piece
of the puzzle, the American crocodile. Now we just need to find
an American alligator. Got an alligator right there. – [Mario] Oh yeah. – [Coyote] All right, full
weight going into this. This is one of those things, you don’t think about it, you just do it. Ready?
– [Voiceover] Yeah. – [Coyote] One, two. – [Mario] Got him? – [Coyote] Got him, got him. (Mario cheers) Just barely got him
right behind his neck. Watch your fingers, here we go, bringing him up. Wow. There it is. All right, now we gotta
get the American crocodile up close with this
American alligator. Oh man, this is awesome. Look at those teeth. Man, those were some
pretty epic catches last night, weren’t they? – Yeah, I mean how
cool was it to catch an alligator and a
crocodile in the same night? – Certainly a first for me. Now, this is great
because it’s giving us the opportunity to
answer a question that a lot of people
write in and ask me, I’m sure they also ask you, what’s the difference between
an alligator and a crocodile? Most people look at a
reptile like this and think it’s one and the
same, but not really. Once you get them up
next to each other, you can really see that they’re
pretty different looking. Now, obviously these
are both reptiles, both crocodilians, and both
have been on the planet for, what, over 200 million years? – [Mario] Oh yeah, absolutely. Their lineage is prehistoric. – [Coyote] So we’re pretty
much looking at dinosaurs here? – [Mario] Oh yeah. – All right, so first let’s
look at the differences in snout structure
’cause this is probably a really easy way to
identify these animals in the wild, correct? – [Mario] Yeah, that’s
how I identify them. It’s very easy. Crocodiles have a
pointed, narrow snout. Alligators have a
broad, round snout. – [Coyote] Yeah, look
how broad that snout is. And that has to do
with the type of food that they’re eating. – [Mario] Absolutely, yeah. Crocodiles are more
coastal habitats, so they’re gonna be eating fish. And they want skinnier
jaws to potentially thrash around and grab the fish. – Right, and I can see that with the tooth structure, those look like little shears. Now look at the
alligator, and of course we know the alligators
are opportunistic, raccoons, deer, pretty
much anything that comes across these jaws. And they have big
broad jaws for crushing their food, pretty much. They crush and
swallow things whole. Now, one other similarity
that all crocodilians have is a nictitating membrane. And that’s really cool. This is kinda like a
built in set of goggles for when you’re
underwater, hunting. Now, let’s talk about the
color of these reptiles because that is
also very distinct. You notice that the alligator is very dark in
coloration, almost black. And I would imagine that this
helps them stay camouflaged in dark, murky water, as well as probably being
able to help it absorb sun. As we know, reptiles
are ectotherms, meaning that they need the
sun to heat up their bodies so that they can go
out and be active. The crocodile, however, is
much lighter in coloration. Why is that? – [Mario] Because
of its environment. So these guys live
in coastal habitats, and they’re gonna blend
in right with the sand. – Yeah, you’ll notice
that just this coloration in the skutes and
the scale pattern does almost look like sand. I mean, an alligator like this, if it was in a
dark, murky swamp, you could look
straight down at it and not even see
that it’s there. Obviously it helps
it catch its prey once it comes up to
the shore and boom, they lunge out of the
water to grab something. – [Mario] Another
difference, take a look at all the scales on the
croc and the alligator, especially around the tail. So, these are what
we call skutes. And if you see, the
crocodile has really pronounced skutes,
they’re longer. The alligator has shorter ones. And those skutes help
them propel better through the water. – Yeah, you can see that
the alligator’s tail is much more knobby in design, whereas a crocodiles tail… How about that for an
explosion of power? Yeah, you really need
to keep your hands locked on the neck of the
alligator and its jaws so that he doesn’t get
my fingers in his mouth, but you can maybe
see right there just how their tail can
quickly whip around. And that is all muscle. – This kinda leads to a
really common question I get as well, and that
is in their temperament. Crocodiles tend to have
a very bad reputation. They are considered more
dangerous than alligators, but that’s not true
here in Florida at all. American crocs are actually
really shy animals. Alligators are a little bit
more bold here in Florida because they’re more common, and sometimes they’re found
in more residential areas. – Right, so they’re
kind of accustomed to being around humans, but even still in both
of these instances, these animals are
not out there looking to actually eat humans. Often times, I know when
it’s an alligator attack, it’s mistaken identity. Somebody that’s
swimming in the water, dark water specifically, you’re thrashing around, you’re gonna seem
like a wounded animal or a fish. And as an opportunistic feeder, then the alligator is
gonna go after you. – Correct. – Now, aside from the
physical differences between these two crocodilians, there is something
that you need to know that you can’t physically see. The American crocodile is
actually considered endangered here in south Florida, while the American
alligator is just protected. Far more likely to come
across one of these beasts than you are a crocodile. If you’re out there in the wild and you see a slender snout, consider yourself lucky because it’s probably
a once in a lifetime. I’m Coyote Peterson, be brave, stay wild, we’ll see you
on the next adventure. You ready to let these
two crocodilians go? – Let’s do it. – [Coyote] See you
later, alligator. – [Mario] In a while crocodile. – [Coyote] If you thought
that was a cool comparison, check out the
differences between the alligator snapping turtle and the common snapping turtle. And don’t forget, subscribe
to join me and the crew on this season of
Breaking Trail.

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