12
Aug

Top Four Interesting Characteristics of Alligators

The American alligator is an astounding creature. It’s massive and is often found in the lakes, swamps, and canals of Florida. How big do alligators get? Male gators can reach 14 feet. Females are smaller. But they’re no slouch when you consider they’re often around nine feet long.

American gators have filled the headlines at one point or another. They’re crucial to Florida’s ecology. But they nearly went extinct at one point. They’re gentle giants that make news when they attack. There are so many compelling characteristics of alligators you should know about.

Humans are not on the Menu

American alligators don’t make a habit of eating people. But they have been known for biting humans. Statistics show that there have been 442 alligator attacks in Florida. 24 of those attacks were fatal. The number is quite large. But when you consider the millions of gators in the Sunshine State, it’s still a small amount.

So what do alligators eat? They feast on various amphibians and their fellow reptiles. They also love to eat birds and small mammals like rabbits. Gators are always said to be lazy hunters. They prefer to eat those that are easy to catch. But they also tend to attack anything splashing in the water. It’s one of the reasons behind gator attacks. It’s also why you should never go night swimming in Florida.

They’re Only Found in Two Countries

Gators might be a very popular reptile but they’re only found in two countries. Where do alligators live? These creatures only live in the USA and in China.

The species found in the US thrive in North America. They inhabit the coastal areas from North Carolina all the way to the Sunshine State. You can also see them in Georgia and Louisiana. Gainesville holds the distinction of having the largest population of alligators. Florida is nipping at its heels though. The state boasts more than a million gators. They even named it their official reptile.

The Chinese alligator lives in a smaller area. It lives in the lower Yangtze River. They’re often found in the provinces of Anhui and Zhejiang. These are provinces in the eastern side of China.

Gators Provide Much-Needed Ecological Balance

Alligators are apex predators. They’re among the elite in the food chain. But they also play a key role in maintaining the ecosystem.

Gators keep animal populations in lakes and wetlands in balance. They prevent predators from running rampant. They also maintain marine life. They do this through the gator holes they create. Alligators dig holes when they want to cool down their bodies. Their tails also create trails as they move through the marshes. These trails and holes become habitats for fish and other marine species.

Alligators are Shy

Most people have this image of alligators roaring and rampaging through the swamps. They are vocal animals, especially during mating season. But they are also shy creatures. They tend to avoid humans. Human interaction is unavoidable though as millions visit Florida every year.

Alligators might be shy but they’re still dangerous. Pay attention to your surroundings. Especially if you’re near water as gators are fast. How fast are alligators? They can run as fast as 35 mph on dry land. But they can only run for short distances. It’s a different matter when they’re in the water. These reptiles can swim for 20 mph. They’re faster than dolphins.

Enjoy Amazing Florida

Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures aims to show you a different side of the Sunshine State. We want to showcase Florida’s amazing wildlife. We do this through our fun and unforgettable airboat rides. Our company is also known for its tours through Orlando’s swamps and marshes. Call us at (352) 643-0708 if you want to experience it. You can also make reservations here.