Do alligators and crocodiles exist together anywhere in the world?

The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) lives in several places within the Americas, including Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and south Florida. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is also found in south Florida, among other places. South Florida is the only place you can find both animals in the wild. To distinguish the two, alligators have a more U-shaped snout while crocodiles have a more pointed or V-shaped one. In addition, alligators are black, while crocodiles are usually a lighter grayish brown.

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Are there invasive reptiles other than Burmese pythons in the United States that people should be concerned about?

Free-ranging snakes representing dozens of species from around the world are discovered in the United States in any given year, usually as a result of escapees or illegal releases, but most of these have not established reproductive populations. Florida is a major transportation hub and has a climate that’s suitable for many invasive species. As a...

Where are Burmese pythons or other large constrictors distributed in Florida?

The Burmese python is now distributed across more than a thousand square miles of southern Florida, including all of Everglades National Park and areas to the north including Big Cypress National Preserve and Collier-Seminole State Forest. A number of Burmese pythons have been found in the Florida Keys, but there is not yet confirmation of a...
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Date published: October 28, 2015

Everglades’ Alligator Numbers Drop after Dry Years

Alligators and the Everglades go hand-in-hand, and as water conditions change in the greater Everglades ecosystem, gators are one of the key species that could be affected.

Date published: August 6, 2015

World's Largest Alligator Satellite Telemetry Study Raises the Bar in Lowcountry

The largest American alligator satellite telemetry-tracking study worldwide is lurking in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

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Alligator Hatchlings
December 31, 2017

Alligator Hatchlings

Crocodilians are one of the few reptile taxa that exhibit parental care. In alligators, following nest construction, females stay nearby in a guard hole, and are known to defend their nests against predators or other intruders. At the end of the 60-day incubation period, alligator hatchlings will vocalize from within the egg, to signal to the mother that they are ready to

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American Alligator and Burmese Python in a Struggle
February 1, 2017

American Alligator and Burmese Python in a Struggle

An American alligator and a Burmese python locked in a struggle to prevail in Everglades National Park. This python appears to be losing, but snakes in similar situations have apparently escaped unharmed, and in other situations pythons have eaten alligators. Photograph credit: Lori Oberhofer, National Park Service

Transmitters are programmed to acquire an alligator location once every three hours from April to the end of September each year
December 31, 2016

Alligator Telemetry Transmitter

Transmitters are programmed to acquire an alligator location once every three hours from April to the end of September each year.

Alligator transmitter installation and recovery
December 31, 2016

Alligator transmitter installation and recovery

Alligator transmitter installation and recovery. Pictured: Abby Lawson, Thomas Rainwater, John Lane (Wofford College), and Erin Weeks (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources).

Alligator Telemetry Research in South Carolina
December 31, 2016

Alligator Transmitter

Researchers have deployed 24 external GPS transmitters to male alligators in South Carolina. Alligators are territorial -- an individual’s movements may be influenced by other alligators in close proximity.  Alligators are territorial -- an individual’s movements may be influenced by other alligators in close proximity.

American Alligator
December 31, 2016

American Alligator

USGS and other scientists have studied in-depth alligator populations in Florida and Louisiana, but basic ecological knowledge is lacking for populations at the northern edge of their range. For example, differences in climate and habitat between the southern and northern portions of the range limit the applicability of findings from other studies to South Carolina

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February 26, 2016

Spatial Ecology of the American Crocodile and American Alligator in the Greater Everglades

Spatial Ecology of the American Crocodile and American Alligator in the Greater Everglades

Image of man holding small aliigater, with its mouth taped shut. Water in background.
December 31, 2007

USGS scientists and alligator

Guy Gelfenbuam holding a juvenile alligator while doing field work near New Orleans.

Image: American Crocodile

American Crocodile

American crocodiles are restricted in their range within the USA to southern Florida. Decisions on restoration of the Everglades must incorporate protection for this threatened species.