- Alligator has elongated, armored, lizard-like bodies with muscular
- Alligator long snout that is rounded and shovel-shaped with nostrils
at the end to allow breathing while most of the body is submerged.
- Alligator eats insects, snails, fish, crabs, birds, turtles, snakes
- Its transparent third eyelid gives underwater protection.
- Alligator has 80 teeth; 40 top, 40 bottom. Teeth are conical; used
for grabbing and holding, not for cutting.
- Alligators are slow moving animals when they are out of the water.
- Alligator uses feet to swim slowly and to keep balance in water; use
tail to swim fast.
- Alligators can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. However that
speed can only be maintained for a very short distance.
- Alligators live in salt-free and pollution-free water.
- Nearly all alligators become sexually mature by the time they reach
approximately 7 feet in length although females can reach maturity at
6 feet. A female may require 10-15 years and a male 8-12 years to reach
- Alligators are ectodermic -Tthey rely on external sources of heat
to regulate their body temperature.
- Alligators control their body temperature by basking in the sun, or
moving to areas with warmer or cooler air or water temperatures.
- The heart of alligators, and all crocodilians, has 4 chambers.
- The advantage of a 4-chambered heart is that oxygenated blood and
deoxygenated blood are separated, which results in more efficient respiration
needed for the high metabolism of warm-blooded animals.
- The American alligator has webbed feet; the Chinese alligator does
- Female alligators build large, mound-shaped nests of mud and plants,
where the female lays her eggs.
- Baby alligators grow about three inches per month in the wild. It
takes a hatchling four to five years to become a five-foot-long adult
- Alligators dramatically affect the appearance of the landscape. They
dig gator holes, which support a whole community of other creatures
and plants. By building up the land around the gator holes, they create
new places for plants to grow. They also help control populations of
many nuisance animals.