|Tuesday, July 29
Updated: July 30, 10:46 AM ET
Crocodile, not alligator, featured on cover of guide
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- What a croc!
A large crocodile -- and not the school's namesake alligator mascot -- is featured on the cover of the University of Florida's 2003 football media guide.
A photo of Florida coach Ron Zook leading the team onto the field is superimposed over the olive green crocodile. The words "Florida'' and "2003 Football Guide'' also appear on the front, but the word "Gators'' is absent.
Florida spokesman Steve McClain said he regrets the error.
"We asked for an alligator, we paid for an alligator and unfortunately we did not get an alligator,'' McClain told The Associated Press late Tuesday in a telephone interview. "It's unfortunate, it's somewhat embarrassing obviously, but the bottom line is we thought we were getting an alligator.''
The school was looking for a certain "design element'' for the cover, McClain said, but none of the school's stock photography matched what the media relations staff needed.
The school sought outside help for a picture, employing a number of production companies to help with the search. After a picture was found, the error was unfortunately not caught before production, McClain said.
American crocodiles have pointy snouts and are found mostly in mangroves where fresh and saltwater mix. They are a light, olive-green color.
Alligators have broad snouts, live mainly in freshwater surroundings and are nearly black. They are found throughout Florida and vastly outnumber the state's stock of crocs.
Alligators are also recognizable because the upper jaw overlaps the lower jaw, making all the teeth of the lower jaw hidden from view and fitted into depressions in the upper jaw. With crocodiles, the teeth interlock more evenly.