So today I want to talk about Alligators. Not the animals themselves but the word and it's fascinating origin. It is a Spanish word or more accurately derived from a Spanish word. When the Spaniards conquered Florida in the 1500's they came across our giant reptiles. They were everywhere in our water ways. They called them "Lagartos". "El Lagarto" is the Alligator. Well English settlers that talked to them mis-heard the word as Ellatago. And being the way we Americans are we made the word our own and improved upon it. It quickly evolved into Alligator. The American Alligator is a monotypic genus. Alligator mississippiensis is the scientific name and there are no others in the genus Alligator. Crocodiles have several species in their genus and have very differently constructed skulls than the very wide American Alligator skull. They tend to be more aggressive too than the more relatively docile Alligator. Seen from the sides Alligators have teeth that point all down while crocs have teeth that point both up and down giving them a more fierce aggressive look.
So there's a little history on where the word Alligator came from.