Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) is a reptile in the Alligatoridae family of alligators. It is also known as the Musky Caiman and the Smooth-Fronted Caiman.

The Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman looks like a small alligator with a broad head and a U-shaped snout (nose). The adult is dark-brown to black, while juveniles are brown with black bands. It has an upturned lip. The upper jaw extends further than the lower jaw. It has strong scales for protection. It has brown eyes with vertical slits.

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American Alligator

The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is a large reptile, and also a crocodilian native to the southeastern United States of America. Crocodiles, alligators, gharial, and caimans are all crocodilians.

The American Alligator is dark grey, black or olive-brown, with a broad U-shaped snout (nose) and sharp, triangular teeth. Its teeth are not visible when its mouth is closed. Its underbelly is creamy-yellow. It has a long tail and short legs with claws.

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Alligator Teeth, Crocodile Teeth

Alligator teeth and crocodile teeth are different.

An alligator has a large, fourth tooth in the lower jaw that fits into a socket in the upper jaw.

A crocodile does not have a fourth tooth in the lower jaw.

An alligator’s teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed.

A crocodile’s teeth are visible when the mouth is closed.

Both alligators and crocodiles have between 74 and 80 teeth. As they wear down, they are replaced. They can have 3,000 teeth in a lifetime. Continue reading “Alligator Teeth, Crocodile Teeth”