REVISED APRIL 2017
OF THE WORLD*
more than 25 members of Order Crocodylia: alligators, caimans, crocodiles,
the Tomistoma and gharial, all distinct.
Slender-snouts. Wide snouts. Cold
tolerance. Size. Aggression. Dentition. Color. Mating behavior.
Scalation. Diet. Vocalization. Location. Adaptation. Evolution. These are just a few of the
numerous distinctions between the 26 recognized kinds of
crocodilians on earth (with three subspecies). How do scientists keep track, so they may
study them? If you're not familiar with the method, here's a
Scientists employ a system called
taxonomy, and despite possible confusion among non-scientists in its perception, it is
simply the classifying, or ordering, of animals.
IDENTIFYING A NAME.
Determining the taxonomy of an animal
can entail years of research, but identifying the taxonomical, or
scientific name, of a crocodilian based on scientific order is a
fairly simple puzzle. It is important to know that scientific
taxonomy appropriates the relatively archaic language of Latin
(as does the field of law).
For example, the animal known as the
Common/Spectacled Caiman is
So, the full name is
The subspecies of that same
most commonly known as the Brown Caiman, is
the full name of the subspecies is
(Scientific names are usually
italicized, with the genus in upper case, species in lower case.
Pronunciation of the binomial scientific
names need not be difficult; you may go
for a simple Latin tutorial.)
CHANGE OF NAME.
You may have heard or read of a
species or subspecies that is not listed
on this page. Such ones have been
excluded from the list here because they're generally not
recognized by most professionals since there is not enough data
to support a classification as such. The technology used in genetic
study is advancing constantly, enabling researchers to discover
genetic relationships previously unknown - hence, the
classifications are subject to change.
The debate on how much influence DNA
analysis should have on classification, however, flourishes anew
with the progress of laboratory discovery, since the complexity
of the subject raises new issues; and the changing of a genus
classification or the establishment of a new species takes time,
as science is not supposed to be expedient, but painstakingly prudent,
progressing at the rate such requires.
In order to maintain consistency and
avoid confusion with alternate names, the taxonomy in this
section attempts to
adhere to the rules of the International Commission on
This following list of the 26 living, or
extant, species is reflective of the Linnean taxonomy system;
remove the titles, such as "Class" or" Phylum" and you have the
phylogenetic system, which does not recognize characteristics of
form, or morphology, that animals have in common, but is based
on genetic relationship.
Species names listed below
feature hyperlinks to profiles which the author believes
are the most current and in-depth (vs. summarial) available of the respective
species. (These links are provided for informational purposes
only; the presence of a link to a website published by another
entity does not indicate any formal association of
LivingAmong Alligators.net with that entity and should not
be construed as such indication.)
This article is divided into sections of genera (multiples
of genus) and
species lists, represented by links atop this page, each dealing
with one of the three families of the order Crocodylia. Each species listed features a link to a
recommended online article dealing with that animal. The last
section features subject references.
on a link from the menu atop this page to navigate this article.
* Links are provided in this article for informational purposes only;
the presence of a link to a website published by another entity
does not indicate any formal association of LivingAmongAlligators.com with that entity and should not be construed as
SUGGESTED ARTICLE CITATION: Dupont,
Israel. 2012. The alligator's relatives around the globe: the
living crocodilians of the world: LivingAmongAlligators.com
[ [insert date cited] ]; Rev. April 2017. Available from: