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Compare and Contrast an Alligator vs. Crocodile - Essay Example

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As a result of both crocodiles and alligators being reptilian animals from the same Crocodylia animal order (Ortleb and Cadice x), they can at times tend to exhibit a number of similarities such as sharing a similar diet, an amazing swimming speed that can be as fast as 20 miles…
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Compare and Contrast an Alligator vs. Crocodile

Download file to see previous pages... Alligators are generally categorized as belonging to the alligatoridae family of crocodilians that is seen to also include the caimans. Perhaps on the most distinguishing characteristic aspects of the alligator is the fact that the noses of alligators are generally shaped to have a rather wide U-shaped, and rounded snout that can be deemed as having the appearance of a shovel (Barnes-Svarney and Svarney187-188). This broad design of an alligators snout can be perceived to have been designed mainly for strength and is designed to ensure that the animal can be able to easily withstand the stress to its bone structure caused when it applies massive force in cracking the rather hard shells of invertebrates such as turtles that form a significant part of its diet. As a result of an alligator’s upper jaw being significantly larger than its lower jaw, its jaws completely overlap when its mouth is closed with the teeth on the lower jaw becoming completely hidden as they neatly fit into small depressions located in the upper jaw (Barnes-Svarney and Svarney187-188; Tan 40). This aspect can be seen to be especially pronounced in relation to the large fourth tooth of the animal located in the lower jaw. The salt glands situated on the tongues of alligators are less effective as compared to those of crocodiles and generally appear to have lost their innate ability of enabling the animal to excrete significant amounts of salt (Tan 40). Alligators can be able to grow and attain a length of about 14 to 16 feet a length that is considerably larger that of some crocodile species (Smith 205).
With a V-shaped snout, the snout of a crocodile is basically found to be more pointed as compared to an alligator. The shape of its snout is seen to cause the animal to become more generalized and much better adapted for a wider range of prey. A crocodile’s upper and lower jaws are fundamentally the same width ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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