I love reptiles, so today I want to write about an amazing scaly creature, the American alligator.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These massive reptiles can grow to up to 4.6 metres long, helping them catch very large prey, including deer and feral wild boars. Males are larger than females.
- American alligators are able to survive in extreme weather conditions. They use their snouts and long tails to dig out holes which contain water during droughts. These holes are also very important for the survival of other species, making them very important for their eco-system. They can also survive in sub-zero temperatures, dropping their metabolic rate and living in burrows.
- You can tell an alligator from a crocodile by their broad snouts and the lack of visible lower teeth when they close their jaws.
- At breeding time, females lay between 25-60 eggs in a nest made of plant matter and mud. When the babies hatch they have yellow bands across their bodies. The mum carries up to 10 at a time to the water and she is very protective and looks after them for about a year.
- American alligators are reasonably common and their numbers have increased after almost being hunted to extinction 60 years ago. They are found in freshwater rivers, swamps and lakes throughout the American states of Alabama, Arkansas, North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. They are the official reptile of Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about American alligators?