How Alligators are different from Crocodiles?
1. While Alligators and Crocodiles belong to same family of reptiles, their orders are different
2. While Alligators prefer a freshwater habitat, crocodiles prefer to live in brackish water or saltwater.
3. While the salt glands are non functional in Alligators, they work in Crocodiles
Select the correct option from the codes given below:
Both these reptiles belong to same order Crocodilia, alligators are classified under Alligatoridae family, whereas crocodiles are members of the Crocodylidae family. In regards to the habitat comparison of alligators and crocodiles, both spend their life in and near water bodies and lay their eggs on land. But the difference is alligators prefer a freshwater habitat, while crocodiles prefer to live in brackish water or saltwater. Alligators have a broader ‘U’ shaped snout, whereas the snout shape of crocodiles is narrow and form a V towards the end.
The tooth placement is also a distinguishing feature to demarcate alligators and crocodiles. The jaw placement of an alligator is such that the upper jaw is wider and covers the lower jaw completely. In case of a crocodile, the width of the upper and lower jaw are the same, hence, the teeth in the lower jaw become apparent after the mouth is closed.Dermal Pressure Receptors (DPRs) are small, black, sensory pits that help in detecting changes in the water pressure. Both in alligators and crocodiles, DPRs serve as an important organ for locating their prey. In alligators, DPRs are present only around the jaw, whereas in crocodiles, these sensory organs are present in nearly every scale of the body.
Both alligators and crocodiles have structurally modified salivary glands (salt glands) in the tongue. The crocodiles use these salt glands for excreting excess salt from the body, whereas in alligators, these salt glands are non functional. This is the reason as to why, a crocodile can tolerate saline water, whereas an alligator cannot. (Buzzle.com)
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module