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ALLIGATORIDAE



_A.mississippiensis_ on the prowl



The ALLIGATORIDAE is the second largest family of the crocodylians. These animals are characterized by having larger, broader, and more robust snouts, than crocodylines, they are able to withstand colder temperatures than crocodylines also and the most important part, their fourth tooth of the lower jaw fits into a pit in the upper jaw. See in crocodylians this tooth is the largest. In fact it is the equivalant of a tiger's fangs. And just like a tiger's fangs, these teeth fit into special places in the jaw. In Alligatorines this place is a pit in the upper jaw, while in crocodylines it is a groove on the outside of the jaw. Alligatorines comprise 4 genera and about 7 known species. This group is not as active as the crocodylines, but they are able to withstand much colder temperatures and therefore can handle higher elevations. They are also less aggressive than crocodylines.

While the alligatoroids aren't the largest in the group, they are still known to attain huge sizes. American Alligators were once known to reach 18-20 feet and there was even a report of the Black caiman reaching such a length. Truly impressive.

Below is a list of all the living alligatoroids. Just click on the species that you would like to learn more about.


Caiman Paleosuchus Alligator Melanosuchus
crocodilus palpebrosus mississippiensis niger
latirostris trigonatus sinensis
yacare



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