Did You Know…South Florida…The only place where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild

By  | August 1, 2022 | Filed under: News

Alligators and crocodiles have a lot in common. They’re both beefy reptiles with a serious set of teeth and strong Triassic vibes. However, there are some big differences between them: Alligators usually have a more U-shaped snout, whereas crocodiles sport a more V-shaped snout; alligators stick to fresh water, while crocodiles live in salty environments; alligators are blacker, while crocs prefer earth tones like brown. However, the biggest difference is usually in the locations these two gargantuan reptiles call home. American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) can be found in Cuba, Jamaica, southern Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) mostly sticks to the southeastern U.S. You’ll likely never be tasked with differentiating the two creatures in the wild — that is, unless you find yourself in south Florida.

On the tip of the Florida peninsula lies the U.S.’s third-largest national park — the Everglades. It’s here that the southern extreme of the American alligator’s range overlaps with the northern extreme of the American crocodile’s range. The 7,800-square-mile expanse of wetlands has both brackish and saltwater environments that create a perfect home for crocs, while fresh water supplied by lakes, rivers, and rainfall provides the preferred habitat for alligators. Alligators vastly outnumber crocodiles in the U.S., with about 200,000 alligators in the park alone. And while crocodiles are considered more aggressive, the two rarely fight with each other or with humans. Still, it’s probably a good idea to keep a minimum safe distance between you and their frighteningly numerous teeth.

Media Release/InterestingFacts.com

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