All About Alligators
- Alligators have been living on Earth for millions of years and are sometimes described as ‘living fossils’.
- There are two different species of alligator, the American alligator and the Chinese alligator. The American alligator is generally larger.
- American alligators live in the southeastern areas of the United States such as Florida and Louisiana.
- Like other reptiles, alligators are cold-blooded so they spend a lot of their time warming in the sun.
- American Alligators usually grow to a length of 7′ to 14′ long and can weigh over 1,000 lbs. Some females have been known to get up to 8′, where Males have been known to get up to 15′!
- While alligators have an extremely powerful bite, the muscles that open the jaw are relatively weak. An adult human could hold the jaws of an alligator shut with their bare hands.
- Alligators eat a wide range of different animals such as fish, birds, turtles and even deer.
- Alligators courtship starts in April and their mating time is in May. The Females then build their nest about 2′ to 3′ high and around 4′ to 5′ in diameter.
- Alligators lay their eggs in June and July. They can lay as many as 50 at one time. Alligator eggs become male or female depending on the temperature, male in warmer temperatures and female in cooler temperatures.
- The incubation period is only 65 days and the eggs will hatch in August and September.
Fun Facts about the American Alligator:
- Spanish sailors who came to The New World thought they were huge lizards and named then el lagarto, which means lizard in Spanish.
- English sailors took the name as Alligarter, and as time passed it became Alligator.
- In Lake Panasoffkee according to FWC, there are over a 1,000 Alligators not counting juvenile and babies.
- In 1987 the Alligator became the official state reptile in Florida.