10 Interesting Facts about Alligators

One of these following facts about alligators will probably show you much information about this animal. Alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. The two living species are the American alligator and the Chinese alligator. In addition, several extinct species of alligator are known from fossil remains. Alligators first appeared during the Oligocene epoch about 37 million years ago. Furthermore, to get to know more about this animal, here are some other facts about alligators you might like and be interested in.

Facts about alligators 1: Name

The name “alligator” is probably an anglicized form of el lagarto, the Spanish term for “the lizard”, which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator. Later English spellings of the name included allagarta and alagarto.

Facts about alligators 2: American Alligators

American alligators are found in the southeast United States: all of Florida and Louisiana, the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, coastal South and North Carolina, East Texas, the southeast corner of Oklahoma, ant the southern tip of Arkansas. According to the 2005 Scholastic Book of World Records, Louisiana has the largest alligator population.

Facts about alligators - Everglades National Park
Facts about alligators – Everglades National Park

Facts about alligators 3: Chines Alligators

The Chinese alligator currently is found only in the Yangtze River valley and is extremely endangered, with only a few dozen believed to be left in the wild. Indeed, far more Chinese alligators live in zoos around the world than can be found in the wild. Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in southern Louisiana has several in captivity in an attempt to preserve the species.

Facts about alligators 4: Behavior

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 (both males and females) defend prime territory; smaller alligators have a higher tolerance for other alligators within a similar size class.

Facts about alligators - Baby alligators
Facts about alligators – Baby alligators

Facts about alligators 5: Metabolism

Although the alligator has a heavy body and a slow metabolism, it is capable of short bursts of speed, especially in very short lunges. Alligators’ main prey are smaller animals they can kill and eat with a single bite. They may kill larger prey by grabbing it and dragging it into the water to drown.

Facts about alligators 6: Diet

The type of food eaten by alligators depends upon their age and size. When young, alligators eat fish, insects, snails, crustaceans and worms. As they mature, progressively larger prey is taken, including larger fish such as gar, turtles, and various mammals, particularly nutria and muskrat, as well as birds, deer, and other reptiles.

Facts about alligators - Eggs and young alligators
Facts about alligators – Eggs and young alligators

Facts about alligators 7: Reproduction

The mating season is in late spring. In April and May, alligators form so-called “bellowing choruses”. Large groups of animals bellow together for a few minutes a few times a day, usually one to three hours after sunrise. The bellows of male American alligators are accompanied by powerful blasts of infrasound.

Facts about alligators 8: Nest of Vegetation

In summer, the female builds a nest of vegetation where the decomposition of the vegetation provides the heat needed to incubate the eggs. The sex of the offspring is determined by the temperature in the nest and is fixed within seven to 21 days of the start of incubation.

Facts about alligators - Albino alligator
Facts about alligators – Albino alligator

Facts about alligators 9: Anatomy

Alligators, much like birds, have been shown to exhibit unidirectional movement of air through their lungs.Most other amniotes are believed to exhibit bidirectional, or tidal breathing. For a tidal breathing animal, such as a mammal, air flows into and out of the lungs through branching bronchi which terminate in small dead-end chambers called alveoli.

Facts about alligators 10: Human Uses

Alligators are raised commercially for their meat and skin, which is used for bags and shoes. They also provide economic benefits through the ecotourism industry. Visitors may take swamp tours, in which alligators are a feature. Their most important economic benefit to humans may be the control of nutria and muskrats.

Facts about alligators - Rare albino alligator
Facts about alligators – Rare albino alligator

Hope you would find those facts about alligators alligators facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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