Today the boss was nice enough to extract both alligator and crocodile and leave them in an aquarium outside the reptile pit. This was in theory intended to make my life easier, but upon reaching into the 5 gallon tank to retrieve the far more pleasant alligator, the croc whipped about and snapped my finger. Without hesitation I plucked the gator from the tank, covered the bleeding finger and went on with the show. It was really no big deal.
The Everglades is the only place in the world where you can find Alligators and Crocodiles coexisting in the wild.
How to tell them apart?
-have a U-shaped nose
-mothers take care of their young up to 3 years
-prefer fresh water
-have black and yellow banding as young
-can not excrete salt water
-have a population of 1.5 million + in Florida
-are on the threatened list
-eggs that are incubated at 94 degrees and higher will be males and below will be females.
-have no tongue
-have V-shaped noses
-have teeth that point up and down when the jaw is closed
-prefer salt or brackish water
-mothers don't take care of young
-have olive green and black banding as young
-can excrete salt
-have a population of 2000+ in Florida
-are on the endangered species list
-eggs that are incubated at 94 degrees or higher will be females and below will be males
Both have 80 teeth, need to maintain their body temperature by basking in the sun and when left alone have a shy disposition and will normally avoid humans. They can't interbreed. (edit -after rereading I've noticed how suggestive this sounds - of course mean Alligators and Crocodiles can't interbreed!)
The only crocodiles I have seen in the wild were in Flamingo in the Everglades National Park. They were each an estimated 12 feet in length. We were very close. Maybe too close. People are not on their menu but you still need to be safe.
(a picture for Pia circa 2005)