25
Feb

How Fast are Alligators and Other Interesting Facts

Alligators are fascinating creatures. They’ve been on Earth for 37 million years. They look like miniature dinosaurs. So it’s not surprising that people find them so interesting.

Alligators thrive in only two countries – China and the United States. Most of the alligators in the US are in Florida. There are about 1.3 million of them in the Sunshine State! Some of the state’s popular attractions revolve around it. Florida has several parks that teach visitors about alligators. There are also airboat rides that show the animals in their native habitat. Are you planning on visiting Florida? This article will tell you what to expect from this magnificent animal.

What are Gators?

Alligators, or gators as some call them, are large reptiles. They are part of the Crocodylia order of the Alligatoridae family. There are two species of alligators, the Alligator Mississippians, and the Alligator sinensis. The former is only found in the US and the latter in China.

Many people look at alligators and crocodiles in the same way. After all, they look very similar. But there are differences between the two animals. After all, they are from different families. An easy way to differentiate them is to look at their snouts. Alligators have a wider snout. It’s rounded and has a U-shape. Crocodile snouts are more pointed.

As mentioned, alligators are only found in only two countries. You can find American alligators in Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. The largest concentration of alligators is in Gainesville, Florida. But crocodiles are often found in Australia, Asia, and Africa. They’re also found in Central, North, and South America.

What Does an Alligator Look Like?

Alligators have a muscular, armored body that ends with a powerful flat tail. Most of the creature’s body has bony plates called scutes or osteoderms. These plates are strong and serve as protection for its body.

Gators have four legs. These are quite short, with the front ones having five toes. The back legs have four toes. They have a rounded snout with nostrils facing upwards. These allow gators to breathe while they’re underwater. Their teeth also do not protrude when they close their mouths. This is due to their fourth tooth in the lower jaw fitting into a socket on the upper jaw. It’s one way of distinguishing a gator from a crocodile.

What Color is an Alligator?

Alligators are often dark gray in color. But their underside has a lighter hue. You can tell whether the gator is young by the colored stripes on its side. This helps them with camouflage.

You might have heard stories of a wild alligator. Albino alligators do exist. If you’re lucky, you can even see one in Florida. These gators have white skin due to the lack of melanin. They’re sensitive to sunlight. Most albino gators live in shady habitats for comfort. Their eyes also have a unique color. They are sparkling pink! This is because the blood vessels are visible.

How Big Do Alligators Get?

These creatures can get very big. Gators can grow up to 13 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds. The largest alligator ever recorded topped off at 17 feet, 5 inches.

The average adult male alligator is about 11.2 feet (3.4 meters) long and can weigh half a ton. Adult female gators average 8.2 feet (2.6 meters). As with most animals, female alligators tend to be smaller. Their male counterparts often dwarf them. But size is not a good indicator of this animal’s sex. The best way to tell a male alligator from a female one is to identify its sexual organs.

How Fast are Alligators?

Alligators can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour (mph) in water. They’re faster than a bottle-nose dolphin. They have a lot of stamina underwater. They also use their long and powerful tails to propel them.

Alligators are semi-aquatic as they can survive both in water and on land. But they can run quite fast on land. Gators can run an average of 11 mph, but they’re capable of bursts of speeds of over 30 mph. This is an amazing feat considering how heavy their bodies are. Their slow metabolisms are also not suited for running.

Alligators are not built for long-distance running. But they can move fast when they’re trying to catch their prey on the riverbank. They often hunt in water but will go on land to go after an animal next to the water. They are also known to target animals that are either tethered or confined. But there’s no documented proof that alligators will run after a human.

An alligator will run from a threatening situation though. It’s the only reason it will be sprinting on flat land. If you’re trying to avoid an encounter with it, run as fast as you can away from the alligator’s habitat. It doesn’t matter if you’re running in a straight line or a zigzag pattern. The goal is to put as much distance between yourself and this lumbering creature. Climbing a tree to escape a gator won’t help though. Alligators are also known to climb trees, stairs, and fences!

Experience the Unique Beauty of Florida

You can hit two birds with one stone with Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures. You can have a fun adventure and learn about Florida’s alligators, birds, and other wildlife. Let us show you the unique beauty of Lake Panasoffkee and the Withlacoochee River system. And the best way to explore them is with an airboat. Your safety and comfort are always guaranteed with our esteemed Captain Ron at the helm. He’s USCG certified and has been operating airboats for more than five decades. You can book an hour tour here or call us at 352-643-0708.

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