Zoo #8 – Alligator

Alligator, alligator,
Swimming in the Nile.
What makes you different
To a crocodile?

Well now, this was a nice quick hit on the first day of zoo-rhyme writing, but the doubt set in almost immediately.  Is it to a crocodile, or from a crocodile?  Do alligators actually swim in the Nile or are they in fact crocodiles?  How would I know?  What, in fact, is the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?  Are they actually the same thing, like Bison and Buffalo – if, in fact, they are the same thing.  I think you begin to get the picture that my zoological knowledge is not extensive.  Time for some research…

So, it is just as well I made the point, which I reiterate at this juncture, that these are nonsense rhymes, as there are, in fact, no alligators swimming in the Nile.  If there were, they would almost certainly be eaten by the Nile Crocodiles, which are very big and very bad indeed.  I decided to check up on the difference between the two, to ensure that I didn’t make the same mistake again, and I discovered that the main way of identifying one from t’other is in the crocodile’s characteristic toothy grin.  I was not certain that, in the field, this would help me.  Nevertheless, I tried to clarify…

Crocodile, crocodile, swimming in the Nile,
I’m not reassured by your big friendly smile,
Resulting from evolutionary law,
That the biggest and strongest give others ‘what for’.
So two ancient hunters, but only one winner:
The croc’ is the diner, the ‘gator the dinner.

12 thoughts on “Zoo #8 – Alligator

  1. Well explained and expanded for us slow readers!
    Victory, By The Skin Of His Teeth.
    That gator is a fulsome sight
    With it’s tummy tautly tight,
    Now all gator can do is rest,
    Crocs take a bit to digest.

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  2. I had the ‘good’-luck of having seen both Alligator and Crocodile at close quarters. Neither looked appealing. Alligators have a slimmer mouth…like a jet plane. Crocodiles have flat and broad mouth, like a truck. They are both green and they stink. I had gone to the Crocodile sanctuary at Lucknow, India, which breeds them to release them in river Ganges for ecological balance. I am a vegetarian by birth and the smell of fish was overwhelming.
    Good that I had taken very light breakfast. The grownup Crocs were big enough for me to be thankful of the stone wall separating them from us. Well, so the point is, since they both do live in River Ganges, India…you can try changing the rhyming… 😋

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    1. All very well, but what on earth rhymes with the normal pronunciation of Ganges? Flanges is the nearest I can get, and I have no idea where to go with that!


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