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Alligator Facts – Interesting Information About Alligators | Lifestyle Select

Alligator Facts – Interesting Information About Alligators

I will explore in the article below some interesting Alligator Facts.  These solitary territorial animals are fascinating as I will detail.

Alligator Facts #1 – About the Alligator

An Alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae.  There are two living Alligator species, the American Alligator and the Chinese Alligator.  Alligators first appeared about 37 million years ago.  This was during the Oligocene epoch.  Some alligator facts are that the name Alligator is Spanish term for ‘the Lizard’.  A large American alligator’s weight is 790 pounds and can grow to 14ft long.  The Chinese alligator is smaller.  Alligators have about 75 teeth on average.  They can live about 75 years although there is no measured lifespan.  Southern Florida is the only place where alligators live side by side.  American alligators live in freshwater environments such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes and ponds.  When they construct gator holes in the wetlands, they increase plant diversity and also provide habitat for other animals during drought periods.  They are therefore considered an important species for keeping ecological diversity in wetlands.  Large Alligators feed on nutria.

Alligator Facts #2 – Endangered Alligator

Another alligator fact is the Chinese Alligator is extremely endangered and there are only a few dozen left in the wild.  Indeed, far more Chinese Alligators live in zoos around the world than are left in the wild.  Some wildlife refuges have several in captivity in order to preserve the species. A zoo in Florida has been breeding a pair of Chinese alligators and have released some of their offspring back in the wild in China.

Alligator Facts #3 – Behaviour Of The Alligators

Large Male Alligators are solitary territorial animals.  Smaller alligators can often be found in large numbers close to each other.  The largest of the species will defend prime territory.  Although alligators have a heavy body and a slow metabolism, they are capable of short burst of speed, especially in very short lunges.

Alligator Facts #4 – Main Prey Of The Alligator

Some interesting alligator facts are that the main prey of the alligators are smaller animals that they can kill and eat with one single bite.  The may kill larger prey by grabbing it and dragging it into the water to drown.  The alligator will eat food that cannot be eaten in one bite by allowing it to rot or by biting it and spinning it round until bite-size chunks are torn off.  This is called a ‘death roll’ and an alligator with an immobilized tail cannot perform a death roll.  Alligators are generally timid towards humans and tend to walk or swim away if one comes near.

Alligator Facts #5 – A Top Predator

More alligator facts are as they get older, alligators eat larger fish such as turtles, mammals such as nutria and muskrat.  Also birds, deers and other reptiles.  There stomachs also contain gizzard stones.  They have been known the ambush dogs, Florida panther and black bears.  This makes it the apex predator and in its role as top predator, it may determine the abundance of prey species including turtles and nutria.  Alligators, unlike the large crocodiles, do not immediately regard humans as prey on encounter, but may attack in self-defence if provoked.

Alligator Facts #6 – Alligator Dances

More alligator facts are that on spring nights the alligators gather for group courtship.  The so-called ‘alligator dances’.  The mating season is late Spring April/May.  Alligators form bellowing choruses.  The alligator male bellows and does a head slap as a form of male display.  The natural sex ratio at hatching is five females to one male. Females hatched from one egg at 30 degrees Celsius weigh more that males. The largest threat to the young are adult alligators.  The mother will provide protection for about a year to her young if they remain in the area.

Alligator Facts

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Alligator Facts

 

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