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Crocodile or Alligator - What’s the Difference?

1. Teeth

Crocodile Teeth

The crocodile’s upper and lower jaws are the same width, so you can see both rows of teeth. The upper AND lower. You can especially see the fourth tooth on the lower jaw as it projects over the upper jaw.

Crocodile Crocodile - Photo: tool51/

Alligator Teeth

The alligator’s upper jaw is wider, so the lower jaw disappears into the upper jaw. Keep an eye out for the fourth tooth on the lower jaw. If it’s covered by the upper jaw, then you’re probably looking at an alligator.


Look at the teeth - which animal is “smiling”? If you look at the animal from the side, the alligator looks like it’s smiling.

Alligator Alligator - Photo: Bonnie Fink/Shutterstock

Caiman Teeth

The caiman has sharper and longer teeth than the alligator.

Caiman Caiman - Photo: WildMedia/Shutterstock

Gharial Teeth

The gavial, unlike its relatives, has many more teeth. It has 76-110 teeth, its relatives have 64-82 teeth.


Gharial Gharial - Photo: Michal Ninger/Shutterstock


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