The Difference Between Alligator Skin and Crocodile Skin

In theory, you probably know they come from different reptiles, but can you tell the difference between alligator skin and crocodile skin? They’re both signs of the highest-quality handcrafted luxury goods—an exotic touch that can’t be mass produced. But each has its own appeal and distinctions.


Alligators live in fresh water, while crocodiles prefer saltwater. The latter have developed thick, scaly, strong skin to resist predators; crocodiles have been known to fend off anacondas and big cats such as tigers. Alligators have more worries: if they can survive to adulthood, pythons and crocodiles can attack them, or larger alligators can even cannibalize them.

Alligators have round, U-shaped snouts, while crocodiles have V-shaped snouts. They both have an impressive size; alligators grow between 10 and 15 feet long, weighing an average of 500 pounds, while crocodiles can get up to 17 feet long and a terrifying 2,200 pounds.


Alligator skin has smaller scales that are smoother than a crocodile’s. The scales are larger in the middle and become smaller as they move outwards, sometimes in a chaotic pattern. In a crocodile, the tile pattern is more symmetrical, with consistent rectangular scales. You might detect in crocodile skin a small hole near the edge of each scale, which is the remnant of a hair follicle. Alligators don’t have pores.


Alligator skin is more expensive than crocodile skin because there are so many more crocodiles legally available from Africa, southeast Asia, and Australia. For instance, Dudes Boutique pairs a crocodile jacket with complementary skins such as ostrich or lamb, but an all-over black alligator jacket can be priced around $17,000.

Dudes Boutique has worked with both skins for 20 years, with endless variations in color and form. Each piece is one of a kind, and it will be the signature piece of any wardrobe. Contact us for more information or to find the luxury clothes that can amplify your personal style.



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