Interesting Alligator Facts

Alligators are far from being adorable or much loved by many people. Some will disagree and consider them fascinating. This is where our post comes in. The facts we prepared are both fun and interesting, no matter if you’re a kid or a grown-up!

The American alligator is the star of this presentation. It is a reptile that belongs to an order called Crocodylia. These animals shouldn’t be confused with their relatives: the crocodiles. If you don’t know how to differentiate between them, we’ll tell you. A crocodile has a grey-green body. Its snout is pointed and narrow. As soon as it closes its mouth, the alligator’s fourth tooth situated on its lower jaw becomes immediately visible. In contrast, the alligator has a black-colored body. This reptile’s upper teeth (all of them) are visible when it keeps its mouth closed. Its snout is both rounded and wide.

The tail of an alligator is particularly muscular; it’s also flat. This tail comes with stripes which are dark in color. The jaws of this reptile are very strong. The nostrils located at the end of its snout face upward. The alligator has 4 legs that are short. There are 4 toes on the back legs; the ones in front have 5 toes instead.

Besides the American alligator, there’s another type. Its name: the Chinese alligator. The latter’s size is 4.6-4.9 feet (1.4-1.5 m). The American alligator is 11.2 feet (3.4 meters) long. Its weight is 1,000 lbs. (454 kilograms). The Chinese cousin weighs this much: 50 lbs. (22.7 kg).

The American alligator can be observed in the following habitats: marshes, lakes, and freshwater rivers. Swamps and ponds are also among the places these animals live in. Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas are all equally favored by the alligator. Another interesting fact is that the Chinese type loves swamps, rivers, ponds, and lakes in eastern China. Florida holds 1.25 million alligators. The southeastern US has about 5 million individuals.alligator

Alligators are reptiles which feed on various kinds of meat. Other types of reptiles will land on their plate, as will these: birds and fish. Small mammals, turtles, and mollusks are also good in terms of food for the alligator. Another interesting fat is that there are some individuals which like fruit, as well.

Reproduction can begin as soon as the alligator is 10-12 years old. In fact the mating season will start in the middle of April. This will be over in May. As soon as this period ends, the female has to make a nest. There, she’ll lay a number of 35-50 eggs. This takes place during the summer months. The eggs have an incubation time of 60-65 days. Hatching happens in the middle of August. To know the gender of a baby alligator, the egg’s temperature during incubation has to be observed. Males appear if the temperature’s over 93° F (33.8° C). A female will be born instead when this temperature is recorded: under 86° F (30° C).

Some of the eggs will have their shells broken by the mother; this way, she helps her babies come out faster. Each of the babies has a size of 6-8 inches (15-20 cm). The offspring is called a “hatchling.” A group of baby alligators is known as a “pod.” These young reptiles have a lot of natural enemies. Among them are raccoons, birds, adult alligators, snakes, and bobcats. Other sources of danger: large bass and otters. In fact these interesting reptiles start to live on their own when they’re about 2 years old.

A male alligator is very territorial. Females will attack in case their offspring is targeted. Also, male alligators live on their own. A small alligator will be more than happy to live in a group of individuals whose sizes are the same as his.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, the American alligator isn’t endangered. Its relative, the Chinese alligator, is listed as critically endangered.

Fun facts:

  • the name of this reptile has its root in a couple of Spanish words. They’re “el lagarto.” These terms can be translated as “the lizard;”
  • Alligator mississippiensi is the Latin name of the American alligator;
  • the latter isn’t able to move quickly when it’s on land;
  • strong acid is produced by the alligator’s stomach;
  • the blood of this creature is rich in serum. This helps fight viruses and bacteria;
  • alligators are able to climb trees;
  • females are faithful to a particular male;
  • there’s an alligator sporting a prosthetic tail. Its name: Mr. Stubbs;
  • the oldest relative of this reptile lived some 70 million years ago.

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