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Crocodiles are huge and terrifying predators that have existed on the planet for over 200 million years.
The origins of this animal and the animal group they belong to can be a bit confusing. For many, the first thought is that they are Lizards. However, is this true?
Are crocodiles lizards? No, crocodiles are not lizards. While lizards and crocodiles share similar body shapes and are part of the same category (reptiles) However, they aren’t closely related.
Along with caymans and alligators, the crocodiles form part of the Crocodilian order. Lizards, on their opposite side, belong to the Order Squamata.
What is a lizard?
Lizards are a large species of Squamata reptiles comprising more than 6,000 species.
The most well-known species of lizards are geckos Gia Iguanas monitors, chameleons.
The majority of Lizard species have quadrupedal characteristics, which means they walk on four legs. There are a few species that have no legs and possess snake-like bodies.
The majority of lizards are daytime, and they are more active during the day.
The length of the species can be quite different. From a few inches (chameleons) to 10ft (Komodo dragon).
Lizards are extremely adaptable and are seen in every corner and on every surface of the world.
The majority of lizards are carnivores meaning their diet is meat-based. In hunting situations, they are more likely to employ the wait-and-wait method.
This means they’ll try to catch prey using elements of surprise without having to spend a lot of energy.
The most important characteristics of this type of hunting are in the ability of the lizards to disguise and attack in a stealthy position.
The typical diet is comprised of spiders, ants and ants termites, cicadas, and even mammals.
Lizards in general reproduce via lay eggs. However certain species (around 10% of the total species of lizards) are able to give birth to live children.
What are crocodiles?
Crocodiles are huge predatory reptiles. They belong to the Crocodilian animal order.
They are semiaquatic creatures that are discovered throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.
Presently, there are 13 species of crocodiles and they differ in their dimensions.
The most massive crocodile is one called the saltwater Crocodile. A typical size for a saltwater crocodile adult is around 15 feet. and 1,000 pounds.
Crocodiles spend the majority time in waters, which include lakes, rivers, and wetlands. They also swim in saltwater.
All crocodiles are carnivores, and their diet consists of different animals. The diet can vary, depending on the age of the animal.
The most popular prey is fish, birds as well as other reptiles and mammals.
Of all reptiles, Crocodiles are the sole one-of-a-kind species. While they don’t reside as a group, they do live in peace when they share the same environment.
Except for the saltwater Crocodiles, with the exception of saltwater. They tend to be aggressive and territorial, particularly adults.
Crocodiles are quite talkative reptiles, and depending on the species and the situation, they can send more than 20 different vocalization messages.
Why are crocodiles not lizards?
The first thing to note is that the crocodiles aren’t lizards as they are part of a distinct animal species. Crocodiles are closer to birds than lizards.
Besides coming from a different order, there are other main differences between the two:
- Crocodiles are big predators with large heads. However, the majority of Lizards are smaller and usually have smaller heads.
- A majority of the lizards don’t live in water. They are found in the earth, in threes or even on rocks. Crocodiles on the other side, spend the majority of their lives in water.
- Crocodiles build nests, and they care for their children. Only a few species of lizards provide the care their offspring require after they are born.
- Lizards don’t have Gizzards. The only reptiles with the gizzard are crocodilians.
- Crocodilians have a heart with four chambers. Reptiles however have a heart with three chambers.
- Crocodiles are different from lizards in that they have the codont (socket-tooth).
- Mandibular Fenestrae (the skull’s opening directly in the front of the socket for eyes) is also a feature that can be seen only in crocodiles.
- Most lizards have the capacity to separate and regenerate their tails. Crocodiles do not have this power.
- The ears of lizards are external however, crocodilians have an internal ear but don’t have external ears.
- To smell, crocodiles make use of their nostrils. However Lizards absorb scents with their tongues.
The resemblance of lizards and crocodiles at first glance is indeed present. Besides walking in a similar fashion, crocodiles and lizards also have certain physical similarities.
Crocodiles, however, aren’t Lizards in any way they’re not even close to each other.
Both animals belong to the reptile category, however, they are of an entirely different order.
Crocodiles are part of the Crocodilian order, whereas Lizards are part of the Squamata order.