7 Fascinating Facts about Alligators
American Alligators are fascinating and terrifying creatures primarily found in the Southeastern United States.
They actually used to be considered an “endangered species,” but have made a surprising comeback.
As scary as they are, they kill on average no more than 5 unlucky Americans every single year.
Here are 7 fascinating facts about alligators.
To watch fascinating alligator footage along with this post, click HERE to watch now.
You can also download the bite-free no-alligator audio-only podcast right HERE.
Fact 1: Growing Forever
The average male alligator is around 8-10 feet long, with females being slightly smaller.
However, did you know that alligators never stop growing throughout their entire lives?
Very old alligators can get up to 15 feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds!
Fact 2: They Use Tools
The ability to use tools was long thought to be a human-only trait. Research on primates shattered this belief.
What is most shocking is that even less-intelligent creatures like alligators can be observed using tools to hunt!
Some smarter alligators will balance sticks and branches on their heads which attracts birds looking for nesting material. What happens next is history.
Fact 3: Alligators Help Engineer Ecosystems
Alligators play an important role in their wetland ecosystems by creating small ponds known as alligator holes.
Alligator holes keep water during the dry season and provide habitats for other animals (assuming the alligators aren’t there to eat them).
Fact 4: Alligators are Apex Predators BUT…
An apex predator is the creature at the top of the food chain. Alligators will eat a wild variety of animals, and almost any creature smaller than it.
In some cases, alligators have even hunted us humans that were perceived as smaller, older, or weaker.
Despite that, alligators have been observed eating fruit!
Alligators have been observed eating fruit such as grapes, elderberries, and citrus fruits directly from trees.
Fact 5: Female Alligators Make Great Moms
Female alligators spend time building nests for their eggs. The nests are made up of vegetations, leaves, twigs, and branches, and placed near a muddy body of water.
As the vegetation decays, it helps to keep her eggs warm.
The mother will stay near the nest during the 65-day period to keep the eggs safe.
When the alligators are ready to hatch, they start by making high-pitched noises which causes the mother alligator to pick them up in her jaws.
She will then take care of her young for up to a year!
Fact 6: Alligator Sex is Determined By Temperature
While human sex is mostly random, alligator sex can easily be controlled.
Eggs exposed to temperatures above 93f will turn into males, while those around 86f will become females.
Eggs in the middle can become males or females.
Fact 7: Courtship
Alligator courtship is more sophisticated than one might imagine.
At the start of Spring breeding season, males bellow in an attempt to attract females.
These bellows have an infrasonic component which causes the water nearby to ripple and dance.
Other courtship rituals include head-slapping on the water’s surface, snout and back rubbing, and blowing bubbles.
Wildlife x Team & Wildlife
Alligator infestation isn’t the most common thing reported, but if you think that you have an alligator, wildlife, or pest related problem be sure to contact us - the experts.
We at Wildlife x Team International specialize in safe & responsible removal of wildlife & pests.
Give us a call at 855-WILDLIFE or visit www.wildlifexteam.com for more information.
-Wildlife x Team International