Alligators in Florida: How Big Do Alligators Get

Everyone knows that alligators are some of the apex predators. They appear in plenty of places in the United States but they’re often known for living in Florida. That’s because Florida has several swamps, and wetlands as are their habitat. But alligators do not stay confined to the swampy areas of Florida. You can find them roaming all over the Sunshine State. You might even see an alligator swimming in a puddle at a crowded intersection. Or even one visiting the swimming pool of your neighbor.

Before you go on an alligator tour, it’s better if you get to know these creatures first. After all, you don’t want any incident to happen that can spoil your family’s fun. This article will tell you how big do alligators get. It will also provide facts about the alligators in Florida.

Alligators in Florida: How Big Do Alligators Get

Plenty of individuals often confuse alligators with crocodiles because they’re related. But you can distinguish the former from the latter by its wide, rounded snout. Alligators also have a black color and they usually rest with their jaws closed. You will notice that their upper teeth are visible. The crocodiles have narrow, pointed snouts. They also have a gray-green color and both the upper and the lower teeth are visible.

Are you wondering, how big do alligators get? These fascinating creatures can grow up to 800 pounds and 13 feet long on average. According to experts, the female alligators tend to be smaller than male alligators. The largest alligator recorded measured 17 feet and five inches.

Here are some more fun facts you might have to learn about alligators of Florida:

● Teeth

Did you know that alligators have more than 70 teeth? Alligators have 74 to 80 teeth in their jaws at any given time. Whenever a tooth falls, they are always replaced with new ones. An average alligator can grow as many as 2,000 teeth in its lifetime.

● Body

An alligator has a long, powerful tail. It helps the alligator propel through the water like webbed feet. These creatures are cold-blooded like most reptiles. They often depend on the natural world around them to provide warmth. Alligators will bask in the sun or dig holes in mud to trap heat. American alligators, in particular, float in the water, which makes them look like logs.

You can determine the sex of an alligator by temperature. Eggs exposed to temperatures around 86 degrees Fahrenheit become females. While those exposed to temperatures above 93 degrees are males.

Moreover, they don’t have vocal cords yet they are the most vocal reptiles. Alligators often make sounds by sucking air into their lungs and blowing it out in roars. Take out that alligators can growl, hiss or chump. These are various calls that signal distress and scare other animals. They also use this call to announce their territory and find mates.

● Food

Alligators usually eat fish, birds, turtles, and various mammals. They also eat other reptiles as well like snakes. Moreover, if the alligator is big enough, it will eat larger prey. These include deer, bears, razorbacks, and even other alligators. How about if an alligator caught something too large to consume in one bite? It drowns it by a death roll or by spinning it in the water. The alligator will store its food for many days. This is to enable decomposition and easier consumption.

American alligators usually hunt at night. During their hunting, once they capture their prey, they drag it underwater. This is where they drown and devour them. American alligators also have an adaptation in the throat called a glottis. This allows the alligators to capture prey submerged in water.

● Behavior

Alligators have different means of locomotion, including swimming, walking, running, and crawling. You will find that, unlike most reptiles, alligators walk with their legs beneath them. Other reptiles are diagonal. This kind of walking allows the alligators to lift their tails off of the ground while they move.

Since they’re cold-blooded, alligators undergo dormancy when the weather becomes cold. They often dig tunnels that are 65 feet or 20 meters long. This is to protect themselves from extreme heat and cold.

When an alligator finds a mate, its courtship will happen at the start of the spring season. Males often bellow to get the attention of female alligators. These bellow sounds cause the surface of the water to ripple. Moreover, male alligators also tend to slap their heads on the water surface. Then, they blow bubbles for the females.

● Habitat

People often encounter alligators in brackish waters. You can also find American alligators in the freshwater habitats with warm temperatures. That’s because they have a low tolerance to salts.

Alligators are also usually confined near wetlands. These include streams, lakes, and marshes of southwestern America. Like Florida and Louisiana. They are also known to occupy human-made water structures like lakes and fishponds.

● Lifespan and Growth

The lifespan of an American alligator is long. They usually can live for up to 30 to 50 years. Alligators don’t stop growing. They can grow up to 10 feet long. You can even find the old ones that are quite big to be around 15 feet long. And they weigh more or less 1,000 lbs.

Alligator moms build nests using leaves, sticks, and mud near a body of water. This way, they can keep their eggs warm for 65 days until they hatch. These babies are usually protected by the moms until they are a year old.

Are you thinking of going on an alligator tour with your family in Florida? Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures can help you get the exciting trip you wish for. We can help you create an alligator experience that you will remember for years. Apart from alligator tours, we offer field trips and airboat rides as well. You can call us at (352) 643 0708 or email us at ronandpam@swampfeverairboatadventures.com.