verb (used without object)
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Origin of alligator
Words nearby alligator
ALLIGATOR VS. CROCODILE
What’s the difference between alligators and crocodiles?
Alligators and crocodiles are both large, lizardlike reptiles known for their large, powerful jaws and sharp teeth, their long tails, and their thick, plated skin.
However, you can tell them apart through some physical differences. Alligators are typically darker and have broader snout. Crocodiles are often lighter in color and have a narrower snout.
When they’re in the water, alligators typically lurk under the surface, with only their eyes visible. In contrast, crocodiles typically hold the top of their head out of the water. When alligators’ jaws are closed, only their upper teeth are visible, but both the upper and lower teeth of crocodiles are visible when their jaws are closed.
Alligators mainly live in the southeastern U.S. and eastern China. Crocodiles live in tropical areas of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia. The only place that wild alligators and crocodiles have been documented as inhabiting the same area is in south Florida.
Taxonomically speaking, alligators and crocodiles are not only different species, they also belong to a different genus (alligators belong to the genus Alligator, while crocodiles belong to the genus Crocodylus). Still, they both belong to the order Crocodylia, which means they can both be called crocodilians.
Here’s an example of alligator and crocodile used correctly in a sentence.
Example: Florida is known for its population of alligators, although a few crocodiles also live in the extreme south.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between alligators and crocodiles.
Quiz yourself on alligator vs. crocodile!
Should alligator or crocodile be used in the following sentence?
You can tell that it’s a _____ because of its long, narrow snout and the fact that its upper and lower teeth are visible when its mouth is closed.
Example sentences from the Web for alligator
However, the researchers realized that the alligator gar has a series of joints that allow it to expand the skull while closing its jaws.This ancient fish-crocodile mashup snared its prey using a key adaptation|Kate Baggaley|February 3, 2021|Popular Science
Ally replied, perhaps too intuitively as a Floridian, “I don’t know anyone who has eaten someone’s face or wrestled an alligator.”Date Lab: Mariah Carey. Alligators. Urology. Is this any way to start a romance?|Damona Hoffman|January 21, 2021|Washington Post
The scientists wondered how alligator falls fit into a larger food web.
The scientists in Louisiana chose alligators, Dixon says, because these animals have been found recently in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
They prefer living in saltwater and are more aggressive than alligators.
In another study, children saw a puppet show where a mouse was eaten by an alligator.Why Are Millennials Unfriending Organized Religion?|Vlad Chituc|November 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
No matter what was on that flag—a white buttercup, a corn muffin, the skeleton of an alligator, who knows?
I changed the beach ball to an inflatable alligator and started writing the story to find out what would happen next.Real Thrills And High Art In A Poignant Page-Turner Of A Novel|Susan Cheever|May 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
You can even purchase a “Canned Exotic Meat Gift Set,” which includes rattlesnake, alligator, elk, and buffalo.
He can cry alligator tears, condemn the turncoats, appease the Tea Partiers base and remain speaker.To Be or Not To Be…A Loser: Boehner’s Hamlet Moment|Joe McLean|October 4, 2013|DAILY BEAST
An alligator was observed swimming about, but very few fish were noticed.
We rowed on, now and then knocking a young alligator on the nose as he popped his ugly head out of the water to have a look at us.In the Wilds of Florida|W.H.G. Kingston
For a long time he had set his heart on catching a cayman, a kind of alligator that is found in the rivers of Guiana.The Animal Story Book|Various
Once a tall crane stalked into view among the sedges; once an unseen alligator shook the silence with his deep, hollow roaring.In Search of the Unknown|Robert W. Chambers
The alligator tried to follow her, but the shaft of the paddle caught among some tree trunks and stuck.The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont|Louis de Rougemont