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Animal Themes
Reptiles
Freshwater
Crocodiles and Alligators



Crocodiles and Alligators
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.3

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    crocodilians, strategy, death, despite, abandon, launch, powerful, lower, pointed, capture, determine, attack, defend, however, such, variety


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Crocodiles and Alligators   

1     Crocodiles and alligators belong to the family of crocodilians. They are close relatives of dinosaurs. Today, they are the largest reptiles in the world. Crocodiles and alligators live in warm, moist places, such as the Amazon rainforest or the Everglades of south Florida. They rely on their sharp teeth and powerful jaws to capture prey. They feed on a variety of animals ranging from insects and frogs to fish, turtles, and birds.
 
2     How can we tell which are crocodiles and which are alligators? Alligators have a wide, flat head with rounded snouts. The head of an alligator looks like the letter U. Crocodiles have more pointed snouts. The head of a crocodile looks like the handle of a baseball bat. Another easy way to tell crocodiles from alligators is to look at their teeth. When alligators close their mouths, their lower teeth cannot be seen. In crocodiles, their lower teeth can be seen even when they shut their mouths tightly.
 
3     Crocodiles and alligators are excellent swimmers despite how clumsy they look when they walk on land. Once in the water, crocodiles and alligators show only their eyes and nostrils above the surface. In this way, they can see and breathe while waiting patiently for any animal that comes near them. They can also swim quietly to get close enough to the prey and launch a surprise attack! Crocodiles and alligators grab their prey with their powerful jaws and pull it underwater to drown it to death.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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Animal Themes
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Reptiles
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Freshwater
             Freshwater


More Lessons
             Rain Forest



Animals
    Amphibians  
 
    Birds  
 
    Deserts  
 
    Fish  
 
    Freshwater  
 
    Grasslands  
 
    Insects  
 
 
    Invertebrates  
 
    Mammals  
 
    Oceans  
 
    Polar Regions  
 
    Rain Forest  
 
    Reptiles  
 


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