Crocodiles are more dangerous than alligators, although both are dangerous in their own way. There are far fewer reports of alligator attacks on humans each year compared to crocodiles.
In addition, crocodile behavior is different from alligators. Crocodiles are more aggressive hunters, whereas alligators are opportunistic hunters.
Why are Crocodiles More Dangerous than Alligators?
Crocodiles are more dangerous than alligators because they are bigger, stronger, and more aggressive.
Crocodiles are bigger than alligators. On average, crocodiles can grow up to 23 feet. On the other hand, the average alligator length is 13 feet. Because of the crocodile’s size, it has more power and can therefore take the risks of aggression.
In addition to this, there are so many crocodiles in the wild—all of them are fighting for the same resources. The ones that live in Africa are especially dangerous, as they are fierce predators.
Crocodiles experience famine in many habitats, so they hunt and eat anything except the hippo. As far as human attacks go, both crocodiles and alligators attack humans. However, gators rarely do this.
On the other hand, alligators live in America and US only. The areas where they live are not so populated, so they are not fighting for resources all the time. For one, the Chinese alligator is already endangered, so there aren’t so many of them fighting for food.
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Crocodylian Species Dangerous to Humans
Although crocodiles are the most fearsome, people must never feel safe or complacent around any crocodilian. Even the smaller animals like alligators, caimans, and gharials can cause life-threatening injuries to a human being.
Here are some of the most dangerous species of the crocodilian class of animals…
1. Nile Crocodile
First on this list is the Nile Crocodile, which is deemed as the most dangerous crocodile in the world. This crocodile has a wide range of habitats, which spans almost the entirety of Africa. They live in both brackish and freshwaters.
Because of their size and habitat, they attack a lot of people. These crocodiles can grow up to 20 feet, and they live in areas populated by humans. The Nile River, for one, is a river where many people swim. The estimate is that they are responsible for 300 attacks on humans per year.
Nile crocodiles are the apex predators of their environments, and only very large animals like hippos and elephants are impervious to their attacks.
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2. American Crocodile
The American crocodile has habitats in the United States. They also live in the Central and South Americas. They live in saline waters and usually make a home in estuaries and brackish waters, where they can hold their breath for several hours.
These crocodiles are huge, growing up to 16 feet. Although they prefer smaller mammals as prey, there are reports of attacks on humans. In fact, attacks on humans are not unusual—there were 90 reported cases of attacks from 2008 to 2013, 20 of which resulted in fatalities.
Related Article: What Do Saltwater Crocodiles Eat?
3. American Alligator
The American alligator can only be found in the United States. The estimate is that there are five million alligators in the country, with around 1.25 million located in Florida.
These gators live in freshwater environments. As such, it is not uncommon for them to have run-ins with humans. From 2000 to 2007, the average number of alligator attacks in Florida is 11 per year.
From 1948 to 2005, there were 379 documented alligator attacks in the US, and 17 of these resulted in death.
However, one must take note that alligators are afraid of humans. In the cases of attacks, the humans were doing something that provoked the alligator to fight back, such as capturing the gator or poaching their eggs.
Some people have the habit of feeding the gators. Authorities discourage this, as the gators would begin to associate humans with food. If this does not stop, it can be dangerous.
Related Article: Are Crocodiles Energetic?
4. Black Caiman
The black caiman is part of the alligator sub-family. It lives in South America, and it is also a pretty common sight in the Amazon River basin. They have a wide range of diets, including fish, mammals, and other reptiles.
Black caimans can grow up to 15 feet, similar to the alligator. There are reports of assaults on humans. Between 2008 and 2013, there were 43 reported incidents of human attacks.
Related Article: What Animal Eats Crocodiles?
Do Crocodiles Prey on Humans?
Some species of crocodile intentionally hunt humans. These include the Nile crocodile and the saltwater crocodile. For both fatal and non-fatal attacks, these two species are the most common culprits.
The Nile crocodile attacks hundreds of humans in Africa, while the saltwater crocodile is highly active in Southeast Asia and Australia. At least half of the attacks of Nile crocodiles are fatal, which makes them scarier than other crocs.
Some other species also attack humans. However, there is one big difference: they do not hunt to eat, only to defend themselves. By comparison, the Nile and saltwater crocodiles actively hunt and eat human beings. They look at humans as food.
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Is the Crocodile Stronger than the Alligator?
In general, crocodiles are much stronger than alligators due to their size, but there is variation between individual animals. Crocodiles can grow to 23 feet in length, compared to 10 feet for alligators. Crocodiles also have a stronger bite force, delivering up to 3,700 PSI compared to 3,000 PSI for the strongest alligators.
Combine that jaw power with size, and the crocodile is the scariest predator on earth. They can drag buffaloes, zebras, and buffaloes underwater without the help of other crocs.
Crocodiles will never hesitate to attack prey in the wild, no matter how big it is. They would even attack elephants. The only reason crocs do not attack hippos is because hippos fight back and maul them.
Related Article: Can Alligators and Crocodiles Be Pets?
Crocodiles are more dangerous than alligators because alligator populations do not force them to find something to eat. Alligators are shy and only attack humans if under duress or provoked.
Crocodiles are much more aggressive and are more likely to attack. The two most dangerous crocodile species are the Nile and saltwater crocodile, both of which actively hunt human beings for food.
Stuart is the editor of Fauna Facts. He edits our writers’ work as well as contributing his own content. Stuart is passionate about sustainable farming and animal welfare and has written extensively on cows and geese for the site.