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Reptiles: The Things You Should Know On Alligators and Crocodiles

Mar 18, 2008
Alligators are the most dangerous of the exotic pets. It is a crocodilian, which comes from the family of Alligatoridae. The name was derived from Anglicization of a Spanish word, which was used by Spanish explorers who were settled in Florida, United States. Alligators are found mostly in America and China.

When alligators close their jaws, only the upper teeth are visible where as in crocodiles, the upper as well as the lower teeth are visible when they close their jaws. The shape of an alligator's mouth is like a "U" and that of the crocodile is like a "V". Although both the animals have a darker hide, almost black, the color depends on their habitats. The Chinese alligators have a light pattern, alligators living in algae growing water are greenish black and waters with high tannic acid released from hanging trees have a darker hide.

When on alligator starts growing, some owners panic when they start getting bigger and longer and decide to free it from the captivity. But you should know this can be extremely dangerous to residents of that locality because by then the animal would loose its natural fear and will attack humans. When decision is taken for adopting an alligator as a pet, the owner should be firm enough to make a lifetime commitment.

The Crocodile

Crocodiles belong to the Crocodylidae family. Crocodiles can be traced back to the Cretaceous period and the Triassic period. This family also includes alligators and caimans. Crocodiles are huge aquatic reptiles and live in fresh water bodies such as rivers, wetlands, lakes and brackish water. They are found in America, Africa, Australia and Asia. Crocodiles are often confused with alligators. Crocodiles have a V shaped head and alligators have a U shaped head.

But the good thing is that the muscles that are used to open the jaws are extremely weak. Incase of an attack, the victims should hold the jaw and shouldn't allow the crocodile to open its jaw. That is the reason why, when the crocodile is being transported, the jaws are kept shut with big rubber bands made out of automobile inner tubes. The lateral movement of the neck is restricted by nature in this reptile, so when a human faces an attack on land, he can save himself by getting behind a small tree with the crocodile at the other side.
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