When talking about alligators and crocodiles it is important to remember that both are members of the reptilian order Crocodylia. Within this order are two families known as the Alligatoridae and the Crocodylidae. Their lineage dates back over 270 million years.
Within both of these families there are a total of 23 species of crodilians. The largest of them being the salt water crocodile. Salt water crocodiles can reach 5.8 meters (19 feet) in length. The American alligator can grow up to 4.3 meters (14 feet) in length.
There are two different types of alligators, the American and Chinese. Of the two, the American is much bigger, reaching lengths of 13 feet and weighing about 800 lbs. The Chinese alligator is much smaller, they only weigh 100 lbs and are 5 feet long.
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