Alligators are fascinating creatures found in the wetlands of North and South America.
Alligators have a hard outer shell and can range in size from 6 feet to as long as 20 feet. They can live up to 50 years in the wild and up to 70 years in captivity.
Alligators use their powerful tails to help them swim and ward off predators. They can run up to 21 miles per hour in short bursts.
Alligators have webbed toes that help them move swiftly through the water or waddle on land. They can jump up to 6 feet in the air if they feel threatened.
Alligators are cold-blooded animals, meaning they don't produce their body heat. They rely on external sources, such as the sun, to regulate their body temperature.
Alligators have a four-chambered heart, like birds and other reptiles. However, their heart only pumps blood to the lungs, not around the entire body.
Alligators are carnivorous animals, primarily feeding on fish, birds, and small mammals. They have been known to feed on larger mammals such as deer and domestic livestock.
Female alligators build nesting mounds from mud, vegetation, and sticks. The eggs are incubated for over 90 days, and the mother alligator will aggressively defend them until hatching.
Alligators are excellent swimmers who can open their mouths at up to 13 mph. They will close their mouth tightly when swimming faster to reduce drag.
Alligators have a variety of vocalizations, such as bellows, grunts, and sows. These are used to attract mates, warn away intruders, and communicate with other alligators.
The most important sense for alligators is smell, which helps them detect food or potential predators. Alligators also have acute hearing and vision, making them well-adapted predators.