Zoology: competitive exclusion principle: American alligator and American crocodile in south Florida.

Self-tutoring about reptiles: the tutor looks into the relationship between the American alligator and crocodile.

Only one habitat in the world is shared, naturally, by both alligators and crocodiles: the everglades of south Florida. The American alligator, and the American crocodile, live there together.

Both are aquatic, both predators with similar diets, and they even look very similar. At a glance, they seem to play the same role. How can they, given the competitive exclusion principle?

competitive exclusion principle:
when two different life forms share the same role in the same place, one will have an advantage that allows it to supplant the other. The supplanted life form, in order to survive, will need to adapt a different role.

In fact, the American alligator and American crocodile have different lifestyles: the alligator prefers freshwater, while the crocodile – in Florida, anyway – prefers salt or brackish water. Although the alligator and crocodile may be seen together at times, each will return to its respective preferred habitat. Therefore, they have enough difference that they can viably share the everglades.







Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.