Yes, crocodiles and alligators can live together. However, this situation is rare. The only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together is in the Florida Everglades.
There are only two true alligators in the world. These are the Chinese and American alligators. Both of them are endemic to their country’s namesake. As such, crocodiles and alligators living together are not a common occurrence.
Where do alligators live?
Alligators are only found in China and the United States. The Chinese alligator is critically endangered, while the American alligator is flourishing. The Chinese alligator is the most endangered of all crocodilians.
Alligators are freshwater animals. They live in the following places:
Alligators, like crocodiles, are semi-aquatic animals, and they love tropical areas. In America, some alligators live in cold places, and they can stay underwater for a long time while the surface is frozen.
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Where do crocodiles live?
Crocodiles, like alligators, are semi-aquatic. They love tropical areas, and they are spread out all over the world.
Both alligators and crocodiles cannot live in extreme cold. There are no crocodiles and alligators in Antarctica.
Here are some of the places where crocodiles live:
Unlike the alligator, crocodiles have many species. As such, there are freshwater crocodiles, and there are saltwater crocodiles.
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How come crocodiles are everywhere?
Between the gator and the croc, the crocodile has a higher level of tolerance for saltwater than an alligator. This tolerance for saltwater is what makes the crocodile able to travel in the sea.
Crocodiles have salt-excreting salt glands. These glands are located on the crocodile’s tongue. Its job is to excrete excess salt from the crocodile’s body.
Because of these salt glands, a crocodile can go to seawater and stay there for a while. On the other hand, Alligators can only tolerate seawater for a short time.
Scientists now know that crocodiles travel long distances. It is why they have spread themselves all over the world except Antarctica.
In a study, scientists tagged 27 adult saltwater crocodiles with the intent of tracking them. The tags had sonar transmitters with receivers. The team of scientists tracked the crocodiles for 12 months.
They found out that crocodiles travel more than 30 miles from their home. They start from the mouth of the river and then head out to the sea.
Furthermore, the crocodiles have a strategy of riding ocean currents. What it means is that they do not really swim. They ride the ocean currents if favorable, and then they go back to the banks if the tides change.
This activity is what made scientists conclude that crocodiles are found all over the world because they travel the oceans. They can travel the oceans because they can tolerate saltwater. Alligators cannot do this, and it is why they are endemic to their locations.
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Can alligators and crocs mate?
No, they cannot. Although they look similar, their genetic make-up is too far apart. It is why the alligator and the crocodile have different families in the taxonomy of reptiles.
The alligator belongs to the family Alligatoridae. The crocodile, on the other hand, belongs to Crocodylidae.
Most of the time, animals that belong to a different genus cannot interbreed. If they do, they can mate and make a hybrid offspring. An excellent example of this is the Equus caballus (horse) and the Equus asinus (donkey). Their offspring is the mule.
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Do alligators and crocodiles eat each other?
No one has seen it, but it is highly likely. Both alligators and crocodiles are cannibalistic. In the wild, it is not unusual to see either of these reptiles munching on their kind.
For the American alligator, they eat each other to control the population. They are reducing their numbers because each living gator is a competition. If there is less competition, there is more food.
Some alligators also kill each other during the mating season. In Florida, citizens are put on alert when mating season begins because alligators become more aggressive during this period.
Alligator vs crocodile – who would win?
While no one has seen these two animals fight, the clear winner in this battle is the crocodile. Crocodiles are bigger and stronger and therefore have more advantages.
The largest crocodile ever recorded was a saltwater croc at 20.24 feet or 6.17 meters. The largest alligator ever recorded was only 19.2 feet. Although the size difference is not big, the muscle of the large croc definitely gives it an advantage.
In addition to this, the crocodile has a more powerful bite. The saltwater crocodile can generate 3,700 PSI of power with its bite. The alligator, on the other hand, can generate a force of 2,980 pounds.
Now, that is a huge difference. Crocodiles are also well adapted to saltwater, so if the fight happens in brackish water, the alligator is not in its comfort zone.
Are there crocodiles in America?
Yes, there are crocodiles in America, and they are called the American crocodile. The American gator and American croc are two species of crocodilians endemic to the United States.
The American, like the alligator, is a shy species. This is good, as it will not go about hunting humans anytime soon—far different from the saltwater and Nile crocodiles that actively seek out human beings as prey.
It is the American crocodile (Crocodylusacutus) that lives with the alligators in the Florida Everglades. This croc is also found in coastal areas in both north and south Florida. Like their croc cousins, they like saltwater, so they thrive in brackish or saltwater areas.
The American crocodile is endangered. The official status is vulnerable. The estimate is that only 2,000 of them are left in the wild.
Alligators and crocodiles live together, but they only do so in one place, and that is the Florida Everglades. Crocodiles are spread far and wide because of their traveling activities. Crocs can tolerate saltwater, and it is why they can ride ocean currents, but alligators cannot.
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