- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

Crocodile or Alligator - What’s the Difference?

This is how to tell these two reptiles apart!

Crocodile or Alligator? To understand these two reptiles better, there are a few simple tricks. In the crocodile order, there are around 25 species that can be split up into three families. True crocodiles, alligators and gharials. So, that means: the alligator is actually a kind of crocodile. Nevertheless, we’d still like to be able to tell the difference between the two families.

Over the following pages, you’ll find large images and a few rules to work out which is which. Finally, there’ll be a clear summary.

How Are Crocodiles and Alligators Different?

Here is an overview of all the characteristics in which the reptiles differ. There are detailed explanations on the following pages. Also, for each feature, we have large images highlighting the differences.


  • Snout
  • Head
  • Teeth
  • Skin


  • Size (length)
  • Weight


Life Expectancy

Let's Find It Out: Crocodile or Alligator?

Alligator Alligator - Photo: Svetlana Foote/Shutterstock

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