Alligator Amazing facts

25 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Alligator | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. There are two living species of alligator in the world: the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis).
  2. Like crocodiles, alligators are part of the order ‘Crocodylia’. They are cold blooded reptile species.
  3. The alligator is often described as “a living fossil” that has changed little in the past 65 million years.
  4. American alligators live in south-eastern areas of the United States such as Florida and Louisiana while Chinese alligators are found in the Yangtze River but they are critically endangered and only a few remain in the wild.
  5. The American alligator can grow up to 11 feet long and weight nearly 450 Kg while Chinese alligators are smaller, growing nearly 5 Feet and usually weighing below 35 Kg.
  6. In contrast to alligators found only in the US and China, crocodiles are found all over the world.
  7. Alligators have shorter, wider heads that are more U-shaped than crocodiles. Crocodiles have V shaped snouts.
  8. Alligators strongly favor freshwater while some species of crocodile live in seawater.
  9. Alligators are less aggressive than crocodiles and also tend to have a darker appearance than crocodiles.
  10. An important differentiating feature of crocodile from alligator is that the fourth tooth of a crocodile sticks out when its mouth is closed while all of alligator’s upper teeth can still be seen when it’s mouth is closed.
  11. Alligators have a powerful bite but the muscles that open the jaw are very weak so much so that an adult human can hold the jaws of an alligator shut with their bare hands.
  12. Alligators are social creatures and often stay in groups called congregations.
  13. Female alligators construct nests made of vegetation and mud. They can lay over 50 eggs in a single season. They are amongst the most attentive parents in the reptile world, caring for them, for as long as three years.
  14. The sex of a newborn alligator is determined by the temperature of the nest. Incubation temperatures of 28 Celsius or below will produce females, whereas 34 Celsius or above will produce males. Temperatures of 31 Celsius will produce even number of males and females.
  15. As soon as they are born, the babies, called hatchlings, can go and catch their own food. American hatchlings are around 6 to 8 inches long. After around 2 years, they leave their mother’s protection to start their own families.
  16. Although seriously endangered in the 1950’s the American alligator’s numbers have grown since they came under legal protection. Thy were killed mainly for skin.
  17. Alligators can have up to 80 teeth at any given time. New teeth grow to replace worn ones and throughout a lifetime an alligator can have between 2,000 and 3,000 teeth.
  18. Alligators aren’t strict carnivores. They also eat fruit when they get the chance, and might be important seed-dispersers.
  19. Alligators have their eyes bigger than their stomachs. Thanks to a special blood vessel, the second aorta, they’re able to shunt blood away from their lungs and towards their stomachs, stimulating the production of strong stomach acids to break down their meals faster.
  20. Amazingly juvenile alligators are capable of eating about 23 percent of their body weight in one sitting.
  21. Alligators keep to themselves and usually don’t attack humans unless they are threatened.
  22. Besides swimming, alligators walk, run, and crawl on land. They have a “high walk” and a “low walk.” The low walk is sprawling, while in the high walk the alligator lifts its belly off the ground.
  23. American alligators are fairly accomplished climbers. Alligators can climb trees to get to a better basking spot or get the drop on you. Be aware.
  24. Alligators are opportunistic feeders who ambush their prey rather than chase them. They can reach 30 miles per hour in a short burst.
  25. In North American shamanism, alligators are symbols of adaptability and survival. The alligator became the official state reptile of Florida in 1987.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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