they are definitely similar...
Ĉu? Laŭ mi, estas la sama.
Can "malsimila" be translated as "different"? Different can be not-similar, also can be "similar but not same". Different only equals to malsama, doesn't it?
Cxar unu aligatoras kaj alia krokodilas?
Does this sound like it was said through a phone to anyone else?
not as of May 2016
Yep. Now it's fixed
Should it accept "alligators and crocodiles are not the same"?
Different means not the same, and the construction, with mal and not, is parallel.
Perhaps, but if you accept that translation, it might be confusing for people. Understanding "mal-" as "not -" is a fairly common beginner mistake, so I think we should err on the side of strict here.
This is a good chance to show 'a little dissimilar' - et- .
"Dissimilar" was accepted 3/21/18.