Crocodiles vs. Alligators + Handling Science in a Pandemic

Little Fox wanted to know about the differences between crocodiles and alligators this morning. Since our science lately has been predicated on whatever he’s interested in at the time (and searching immediately for information and doing related projects), I pulled up some articles to answer his initial questions.

We read about the basic biological differences, but he also wanted to know which one was more dangerous, so he could determine which one he wanted to be.

“Typically, crocodiles are more aggressive than alligators, which makes crocodiles more dangerous than alligatorsAlligators are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they’re not likely to chase you down unless they’re provoked.”

–via Everglades Holiday Park

After pretending to chomp on my arm for a bit, I pulled up a cute, short video with a biologist to further explain the matter:

These last several months in lockdown, filled with Zoom classes and meetings (I read excerpts of my work via Zoom for a convention I’d never have been able to attend otherwise!) and isolation from all our loved ones, we’ve spent a lot of time restructuring how we approach all subjects, but especially science, since we’re not going on long explorations far outside our house right now.

We have stacks of science kits and partially completed Kiwi Crates and books on home experiments, but Little Fox’s favorite method for exploration is to ask a question and head to resources he can read, view, or watch. Even if the questions were sparked by something tangible on a walk or at the local park, he wants to come home and read about it and watch a video.

We signed up for Curiosity Stream, which has been hit or miss as far as usability and documentaries on offer, but their natural science and biology videos tend to be decent. He adores orcas since our trip to Friday Harbor last year, and we’ve watched almost as many whale videos as I used to watch sustainable farming videos.

While I’d normally have packed us up this week to visit the Reptile Zoo after his questions, we’re having to rely on multimedia to be enough for now. We’ll pet those semi-aquatic reptiles when the lockdown ends.

But today, after all that talk of alligators and crocodiles, we rocked out to this: