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The Gator statue by the METRORail depicts a crocodile not an alligator.

Is the Gator statue by METRORail line actually a crocodile?

By Monica Gomez

The mascot that embodies UHD spirit is an alligator or Gator. We have Gator statues throughout our campus, such as the one on the South Deck, the one on the southside of the Shea Street Building, and northside of the Science & Technology Building.

Many people have been speculating that the statue by the South Deck is not an alligator but a crocodile. Even though both species are similar, shape of features distinguish the two.

Alligators have shorter and rounder snouts while crocodiles have longer and tapered snouts.

Gators and crocodiles also have distinct sets of teeth. When their jaws are closed, alligators always show their top teeth, whereas crocodiles show their bottom teeth. The Gator on the South Deck has a long pointed nose compared to the other Gators around campus. The top teeth do appear larger even though the mouth is open.

While discussing the Gator statues with UHD students, the debate of the appearance of the Gators tends to differ.

A current student, Mia Norfleet, said it is hard to determine which is which from a lay person’s perspective.

“However, if my years of watching and reading National Geographic have prepared me for anything it’s this,” Norfleet said.

“I think the [statue] on the side of the OMB is an alligator because it has a narrower mouth. The [statue] in front of the business building is a crocodile because the mouth is flatter and wider.”

Another current student, Yumn Khan, said the tails look different.

“The positions make them appear different,” Khan said.

With the different opinions, it is hard to conclude if the statue on the South Deck is really an alligator. There is not a clear distinction of it being an alligator compared to the other statues.

Our current administration does not have the authority as of now to review or process the standing of the statues. They were made under the former administration, so it is hard to conclude the final say of this debate.

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Last updated 1/20/2022 4:30 AM