The Alligator is a known species of crocodilian of the Alligatoridae order. The only two extant species of the alligator today are the American Alligator known as the A. mississippienis and the Chinese alligator otherwise known as the A. sinensis. There are however a large number of extinct species of alligators which have been seen in fossil remains dating as far back to the first appearance of the alligator more than 36 million years ago during the third epoch period,
The name alligator is thought to have been derived from the Spanish term en lagarto which means “the lizard” which may have been used by the Spanish explorers and settlers when they arrived in Florida to describe the reptile. Subsequent spellings of the name used in the English language include alagarto and allagarta.
The crocodile often referred as the true crocodile is a large aquatic reptile native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The order Crocodylinae of which all its members are considered as real crocodiles, is categorized as a biological subfamily of the order. The word crocodile is often used loosely to describe all living members of the Crocodilia order which also includes members of the Alligatoridae family; alligators as well as all other extant and fossil groups.
Nonetheless although both the alligator and the crocodile may appear similar to the untrained eye, they both belong to two separate biological families.
Facts about the Alligator and Crocodile
- One of the most distinguishable differences between the alligator and the crocodile is, crocodiles are known for having a longer and narrower head with more of a v-shaped snout contrary to the u-shaped snout of the alligator. Additionally both the upper and lower jaws of the crocodile are seen as having a similar width with the teeth of the lower jaw falling outside or along the edge of the upper jaw whenever its mouth is closed. The alligator however possesses a small recession within the upper jaw allowing the lower teeth to fit within its upper jaw allowing the teeth to remain hidden whenever its mouth is closed. Crocodiles are also noted for having a much higher level of aggression than the alligator.
- Crocodiles to better tolerate saltwater are known to have more webbing on their feet and unlike the alligator have functional specialized salt glands which are used for filtering out salt from the water.
- The average adult American alligator will weigh about 790 pounds and have an overall length of 13 feet and can grow to as much as 14 long and weigh over 990 pounds. The largest alligator ever recorded to date was found in the state of Louisiana and measured over 19 feet in length. Chinese alligators however are much smaller and have been known to weigh in at just about 45 kilograms and have a length of no more than 7 feet.
- The size between the species of crocodiles is known to vary considerably from the African dwarf crocodile to the larger and more dangerous saltwater crocodiles. Species of the African dwarf crocodile are known to grow just over 6 feet, while species of the saltwater crocodiles often referred to as salties have been known to grow to as much as over 23 feet in length and weighing in at over 2200 pounds.
- Crocodiles unlike alligators are a tropical species and as such are highly sensitive to cold climates. And were first separated from other crocodilians over 55 million years ago. Most species of crocodiles today are classified at risk of extinction with some even categorized as critically endangered species.
- Alligators are known to mostly inhabit the United States and China. Within the United States alligators are generally found within the southeastern states, the entire territories of Florida and Louisiana, southern regions of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, as well as coastal south, North Carolina and the Eastern parts of the state of Texas. Although most of the alligators are known to inhabit the states of Florida and Louisiana, southern Florida is the only region where both crocodiles and alligators can be seen living collectively.
- Large male alligators are often seen as solitary and territorial animals and can display some tolerance for other alligators of a similar size.
- Crocodiles are observed as the most social of all reptilian species. And although they do not form distinct social groups, most species have been known to meet within specific sections of a river eating and basking together side by side. Many of the species of crocodiles with the exception of the highly aggressive saltwater crocodile are not overly territorial. However a mature male will seldom tolerate any other male crocodiles at any time of year.
Gatorland – Orange Blossom Trail – Orlando – Florida Alligator Webcam
Located along the South Orange Blossom Path in Orlando, Florida, this 110 – acre wildlife reservation and theme park known as Gatorland is widely acknowledged today as the “Alligator Capital of the World”. Known for consisting of a large number of crocodiles and alligators, the theme park features thousands of crocodiles and alligators, a breeding marsh, an observation tower and a boardwalk. The wildlife reserve is additionally known for its aviary, swamp walk, petting zoo, reptile shows as well as a number of educational programs.
Visitors to the Gatorland website can watch alligators live via a live streaming controllable webcam located at the popular Orlando theme park. This alligator webcam can accessed by clicking n the link posted below and is provided by the Gatorland Live Streaming Controllable Alligator Webcam Florida.
National Park Service Alligator Webcams
Recently the Everglades National Park launched a new webcam overlooking one of the more touristed visitor areas situated at the park. Located at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, this webcam offers viewers a peak into the park wildlife activity from three various vantage points. Visitors by clicking on the link posted below may catch a glimpse of some resident birds and alligators at the park and even the occasional on-duty ranger.
Gatorland Gator Cam
This is an excellent alligator webcam located at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida. It has streaming video and can be remotely controlled so you can pan, tilt and zoom. See gators in the marsh, tons of birds and people visiting the park, too! Best time to watch is from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
View Live Webcam: Gatorland Gator Cam
Watch this alligator webcam in sunny Rotonda West, Florida. Webcam updates every 30 seconds and includes time lapse video of the previous day. They also have live streaming video, too.
View Live Webcam: Live GatorCam
Alligator Webam at Naples Zoo
This alligator cam is located at the Naples Zoo in Florida. Watch American alligators relaxing in the sun or swimming around in the central pond.
View Live Webcam: Alligator Webam at Naples Zoo
This webcam, when online gives a live view of the Gharial exhibit. Gharials are a species of crocodile with a very long narrow snout native to India.
View Live Webcam: Gharial Webcam