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Alligators Crocodiles Caimans and Gharials: Crocodylia


Most crocodilians live in tropical or subtropical regions. The American alligator, which can be found in the United States as far north as North Carolina, and the Chinese alligator live in the coolest climates of all the crocodilians and sometimes have to survive freezing temperatures. These two species spend the coldest parts of the year in underground burrows, in deep water, or lying in shallow water with just the nose poking above the sometimes ice-covered water surface.

Alligators, caimans, and gharials need freshwater habitat, but crocodiles and false gharials can survive in freshwater or saltwater. Crocodiles usually stay out of the open oceans, however, and instead make their homes in saltwater marshes or creeks.

None of the crocodilians stray very far from the water. The gharials are perhaps most tied to the water. They spend their entire lives either in or within a few feet of the water.

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Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesAlligators Crocodiles Caimans and Gharials: Crocodylia - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction - CROCODILIANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS