Alligators You Will Encounter on an Everglades Airboat Tour
The Greater Everglades is a two-million-acre wetland ecosystem that reaches from central Florida all the way down to the Florida Bay. Both alligators and crocodiles reside in the Everglades and may sometimes even be mistaken for one another. Aside from the interesting facts that Everglades Holiday Park shares about the alligators and crocodiles you may encounter during your visit, you are guaranteed to learn much more on an interactive Everglades airboat tour.
Alligators and crocodiles belong to the scientific group of reptiles called the crocodilians. Of the 23 different species of crocodilians in the entire world, two of the species are native to the United States. Believe it or not, the Everglades is the only place where both of these species coexist. The most popular member of the alligator family that inhabits the Florida Everglades is the Alligator Mississippiensis, better known as the American alligator. This type of alligator is the one you are most likely to see when spotting an alligator on your Everglades airboat tour. American alligators like to live in deep, freshwater channels of water called sloughs and wet prairies. They dig out ponds in these areas for nesting.
The Crocodylus Acutus, or the American crocodile, lives in the saltwater parts of the Everglades – the coastal mangroves and the Florida Bay. Crocodiles, however, do tend to venture over to the freshwater parts of the Everglades at times. You may see a crocodile that has ventured over into the fresh water while on your Everglades airboat tour, but have no fear – they mean no harm, especially if unprovoked.
A close inspection of an alligator to a crocodile is sure to tell the difference between the two. There are many more American alligators than crocodiles in the Florida Everglades. Alligators have darker skin than crocodiles; this is the best way to tell the two reptiles apart. Crocodiles also tend to have a narrow snout, which is more triangular in shape than an alligator’s; alligators have a broader snout. Because of the location of a crocodile’s eyes, ears and nostrils, it can be completely submerged in the water with only the top of its head exposed and can still be able to see, hear, and breathe.
On an Everglades airboat tour, you will be able encounter these wonderful alligators firsthand and quickly be able to note the difference between the two based off of pure experience.