The Ultimate Guide To Alligator Skull: Fun Facts You Didn't Know | Kidadl


The Ultimate Guide To Alligator Skull: Fun Facts You Didn't Know

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Alligators belong to the family of the Alligatoridae. These species appeared for the first time nearly 37 million years ago.

American alligators can weigh around 999 lb (453 kg) and they can grow to about 11.2-15.1 ft (3.4-4.6m) in length. Some alligators, like the Chinese alligators, are small and can measure about 6.8 ft (2.1 m) only. Alligators have a scaly body and are dark olive-brown or black in color.

The underside of an alligator is white. The young ones of alligators have white and yellow stripes. These stripes help to provide them with camouflage amongst wetlands and reeds. Alligators are carnivores in nature and feed upon fish and small animals.

Read on to find answers to the questions like alligator vs crocodile skull size and what is the crocodile skull anatomy, as well as more interesting alligator skull facts! Be sure to also check out our fascinating facts on the dog mouth and goat hair.

Alligator Skull Size

Alligators are characterized by the presence of a large body. Let's learn about the various details of an alligator skull.

An alligator will resemble a crocodile but an alligator is different from a crocodile. The head (the alligator skull) is about 7 in (17.5 cm) in length and the width is 4 in (10.0 cm). The worn-down teeth of alligators are replaced by a new set of teeth. The skull of an alligator measures about 217 mm (8.54 in) stretching from the tip of the snout to the back of the jaws.

Alligator Skull Vs Crocodile Skull

Although an alligator and a crocodile look alike, they can be distinguished on the basis of various factors. Both alligators and crocodiles are reptiles that lay eggs to give birth to young ones and feed upon the meat of fish.

The skull of an alligator and a crocodile can be distinguished by studying them closely. Focus on the shape of the skull. The skull of an alligator has a u-shaped snout which is wide and short. On the other hand, crocodiles have a v-shaped snout that is longer and thinner. Now focus on the jaw of both. While the teeth of crocodiles develop in between each other and are pointed, the teeth of the alligators are spaced out as the upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw. The upper jaw as well as the lower jaw has teeth. The lower teeth and the upper teeth fit in the gaps of each other.

Closeup of alligator.

Why are alligator skulls flat?

Alligators are characterized by the presence of strong jaws and a long body. They are carnivores in nature and feed upon birds and fishes. They can be found in wetland sites in the USA, especially Florida.

The reason behind alligators having a flat skull is that during fossilization, the skulls of the early tetrapods were often 'pancaked' and as a result, these reptiles evolved having flattened skulls with a long snout and a strong jaw that is hooked. Powered by their strong jaws, when an alligator captures prey, it is almost like their teeth have been glued shut and their prey is unlikely to be able to escape.

In recent years, images and videos went around the internet, which showed a turtle in the mouth of an alligator. Over a 15 minute wait, the alligator's mouth was not able to break through the protective shell of the turtles. Many scientific authorities accepted the chance to review the video site to find out why the alligator could not pierce through the shell on first contact with the turtle. A scientific review site says that whilst many predators are able to break through the shell, some will fail to do so.

Baby Crocodile Skull Size

Crocodiles, like alligators, are also reptiles that prefer to feed on fish. They are quite large and are found in various tropical sites in Asia, America, Africa, and India.

They hail from the order Crocodilia. The other members of Crocodilia include alligators, gharials, and caimans. As precise measurements of a baby crocodile skull are not available, let’s learn more about the anatomy of the adult skulls.

A crocodile can grow about 20.24 ft (6.16 m) long while the smaller species, called the dwarf crocodile, is recorded to grow about 5.6 ft (1.7 m) long. They are carnivorous in nature and live upon the meat of fish. The skull of a crocodile can grow to about 30 in (76 cm). However, the skull of an alligator is smaller than the skull of a crocodile, at a length of 8.54 in (217 mm ).

The skin of crocodiles and alligators is used for making various collectibles and items like toys and bags that sell at a premium price in states such as Florida and Louisiana in the USA.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for alligator skull then why not take a look at ant antenna, or alligator facts.

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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