What’s living under New York City?

Alligators!  They could come up the plumbing and into your bathtub!  Right?  Well, in case the picture above has you concerned, there’s no hard evidence that there are gators in the sewers of New York.  Why not?  It’s too cold for them!   🙂


With that said, let’s check out how the alligator is different from the crocodile; take a look at the alligators in the photos below.


General: The alligator is found in the southern part of North America and in the eastern part of China.  The caiman is smaller in size and lives in South America. Let’s look at three simple IKs* for the alligator and the caiman in the corresponding photos:
1st IK: Broad, u-shaped snout.**
2nd IK: Generally, only the upper teeth show when the alligator’s mouth is closed.
3rd IK: Adult alligators are of a dark or black color, with babies having yellow stripes. Caimans are dull olive green.
Compare these IKs with my post on crocodiles here and look at the differences. And look for my next post on the last of the crocodilians….the gharial.

*On many of my blog posts, I will have photos showing readily identifiable characteristics of each animal. I will provide a general description that gives clues to help identify the animal, and then some specific Identification Key, or IKs, as seen and described in the photos. (More about identification keys
here.)

** The mugger crocodile, found in India and surrounding areas, also has a u-shaped snout, which gives it an alligator look.  The mugger is brown or gray in color, however, and has all other characteristics of a crocodile. See a pic of him here.

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