Do Crocodiles and Alligators Get Along With Each Other or Fight?

Do Crocodiles and Alligators Get Along

Crocodiles and alligators are often mistaken for each other, with the two names being used interchangeably by many people. Whilst the look very similar, they have differences, which means people often ask whether alligators and crocodiles get along with each other, or fight like enemies.

The answer isn’t overly simple, for reasons I will explain further down the article. But if it’s just the short answer you’re after, here’s the bottom line…

Do alligators and crocodiles get along? Yes, in the main alligators and crocodiles do get along with each other. It’s worth nothing though, that Florida is the only place in the world where the two species coexist in the wild. However, fights between the two species are not unheard of. 

Alligators and crocodiles as potential friends

Whilst crocodiles and alligators are very similar in looks and behavior, they are two distinct species that belong to the crocodilian family. In most of the world, crocodiles and alligators rarely come into contact and occupy completely different habitats. 

Do alligators and crocodiles get along? Well, it depends!

As well as that, alligators are not as widespread as crocodiles and are only resident in two countries worldwide: America and China. However, the Chinese alligator is a separate much smaller species compared to the American Alligator. 

Unlike alligators, various species of crocodiles can be found in many different tropical countries all over the globe, such as Australia, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, and India – where they are reasonably widespread and easy to observe.  

However, the two large reptiles do live within proximity to each other in one area of the United States; Florida. Here, they prey on many of the same food resources, such as fish, turtles, birds, snakes, and small mammals. 

Naturally, due to this, it’s easy to wonder whether alligators and crocodiles ever fight? After all, the two species would probably come into conflict over food, resources, or habitat. 

Both of them are large and efficient apex predators, after all. So, it seems a no-brainer they would occasionally fight from time to time. 

Are crocodiles and alligators enemies that don’t’ get along?

In general, crocodiles and alligators will get along, in so far as they won’t actively seek each other out for conflict, and are not enemies. They are more rivals than anything else. 

Typically, you won’t see an altercation between a crocodile and alligator unless one of the two has tried to steal food from the other, and this is a rare event. 

Both species tend to keep a respectful distance from each other and are happy to occupy the same niche. Seemingly, this is due to the abundant wealth of food available in the everglades, where both species are commonly observed together.

Handy Hint: Despite common misconceptions, alligators and crocodiles do not crossbreed with each other, and for good reasons.

Do crocodiles and alligators fight?

It’s extremely rare for crocodiles and alligators to get into an altercation in the wild. As I mentioned above, they typically ignore or avoid one another whenever possible. However, fights between the two are not completely unheard of, and normally involve young or inexperienced members of the species. 

do alligators and crocodiles fight
Crocodiles and alligators will fight, but it’s rare.

However, hypothetically speaking, crocodiles have a much better chance of winning fights than alligators. Firstly, they have an incredibly strong bite that registers at 3,700 pounds per inch, almost double the bite force of the alligators 2,900. 

Secondly, crocodiles are much larger than alligators, with the largest growing to around 20 feet or more in length and weighing around 400-500kg.

Compared to this, alligators rarely exceed 12 feet in length but have a similar weight of around 400 – 450 kg. Crocodiles are also much more aggressive than Alligators and will rarely back down from a fight, sometimes even attacking when unprovoked. 

On the other hand, alligators have a reputation for being timid reptiles and are known to retreat in fear when startled or threatened. 

Handy Hint: Another animal that crocodiles encounter are hippos. It’s interesting how they get along… or don’t!

Do crocodiles and alligators eat each other?

Crocodiles and alligators will rarely prey on each other, or at the very least have not been recorded doing so in areas of Florida very often. However, both species have been known to cannibalize smaller members of their own species from time to time. 

As is the case with this alligator in Texas

Crocodilians are very opportunistic predators, and it seems safe to assume that there’s nothing stopping a hungry croc or gator from preying on a smaller member of the opposite species if given the chance. Furthermore, crocodiles have been known to hunt caimans, a close relative of the alligator. 

Do crocodiles and alligators coexist in Florida?

Florida is unique for being the only place in the world where both crocodiles and alligators naturally occur in the same habitat. Although alligators are happy to live in coastal wetlands throughout the United States, crocodiles prefer Caribbean climates and south Florida is the only place where they naturally occur. 

Despite both species being cold-blooded, alligators seem better equipped to deal with cold water than their closely related cousins.

Some alligators are even able to survive in the dead of winter by poking their snouts above the ice, a process called brumation. When it comes to crocs, they prefer to dig a hole in a bank or riverside and wait out the harsh conditions. 

It’s also worth noting that the population of crocodiles in Florida is tiny compared to the population of alligators. According to statistics on Wikipedia, only around 1,000 American crocodiles are residing in the everglades.

Compared with this, there are a staggering 1.25 million alligators in the state of Florida alone (Source: What’s more, crocodiles rarely stray from the everglades, unlike alligators who can be located in a wide variety of habitats within the state. 

How are crocodiles and alligators different? 

It’s not unusual for people to mistake crocodiles and alligators for one another, especially in the everglades where both species coexist. However, recognizing the differences between crocs and gators is easy once you are aware of what to look for.

Firstly, crocodiles are a different color, usually varying from green, grey, black, and brown, and have speckled markings that help them blend into their environment.

On the other hand, alligators look shiny and are a darker shade of green. At times, they can appear almost black in dull light or when submerged underwater.

Secondly, crocodiles have a V-shaped snout, while alligators have U-shaped snouts. Lastly, as mentioned before, the average crocodile is much larger than the average alligator, often up to 4 to 6 feet bigger depending on its age.  


The question of whether crocodiles and alligators get along with each other is rather moot as they tend not to be in situations where getting along would be a consideration.

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Categorized as Crocodiles