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An American alligator in captivity at the Columbus Zoo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Alligatoridae
Genus: Alligator
Daudin, 1809

Alligator mississippiensis
Alligator sinensis

Alligator is a genus in the order Crocodilia. There are two living species, the American alligator and the smaller Chinese alligator. Together with the caimans, the gharials and the crocodiles they make up the order Crocodilia.

One difference between an alligator and a crocodile is that you cannot see the fourth tooth in the lower jaw of an alligator when its mouth is closed. You can see the fourth tooth in the lower jaw of a crocodile when its mouth is closed. Sometimes it is said, that alligators have as wide a snout as crocodiles have a narrow snout, but there are also some crocodiles with wide snouts.

They are known to attack by grasping a limb, then quickly rotating to incapacitate the victim.

Largest size[change | change source]

An alligator has been killed and filmed in Florida. It was 4.5 metres long and weighed 350 kilograms.[1]

The largest ever recorded, found in Louisiana, measured 5.84 m (19.2 ft).[2]

References[change | change source]