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American Alligator

Alligators prefer freshwater, however, they can also live in Brackish water, which is a mixture of freshwater and salt water.

  • Alligators are both diurnal which means active during the day, and nocturnal, which means active at night. If it gets too cold at night time, they will be more active during the day. If it gets too hot during the day, they will be more active at nighttime.

  • Alligators do sometimes come onto land to sun themselves and warm up their body temperatures. This is called basking, and is important because they are cold blooded, so they have to get heat from their environments.

  • Alligators typically live in marshy areas and wetlands so they can be more protected from land dwelling predators.

  • When the babies, or hatchlings, are ready to hatch, they call out to their mom and she uncovers them. Once they’ve hatched, she carries them in her mouth to the water so they can start their alligator lives.

Alligators are reptiles, which means they are cold-blooded, but they breathe air, like us!

Alligator Educational Video with Pinky Plankton

Alligator Products

american alligator with mouth open

Alligators sometimes use a technique when hunting called the death roll. This is when the alligator rolls with it’s prey item in it’s mouth. This is not a killing tactic, but rather it is a method of self defense so the prey item can’t injure the alligator. They only do this when the prey shows resistance.

  • Alligators are the loudest reptiles in the world! They make a roaring sound during mating.

  • The largest alligator ever recorded (so far) was over 15 feet long and over 1,000lbs! This alligator was found in Alabama.

  • Alligators sometimes use a technique when hunting called the death roll. This is when the alligator rolls with it’s prey item in it’s mouth. This is not a killing tactic, but rather it is a method of self defense so the prey item can’t injure the alligator. They only do this when the prey shows resistance.

  • Alligators lay between 20-50 eggs per clutch (nest size). And the mama alligator covers them up with mud once she has laid her eggs, and she watches over them until they are ready to hatch, usually after a 65 day incubation period.

  • The American Alligator is the species we have on Hilton Head Island. There is another alligator species as well, called the Chinese Alligator, which can. Be found in Eastern China. Caimans are also considered to be a part of the alligator family, but are not technically alligators.

  • Baby alligators are called hatchlings and when they are first born, they have an “Egg tooth” which is what helps them break out of their egg. This egg tooth falls off shortly after hatching.

  • Alligators are typically not social animals and stay to themselves, however when it is Alligator mating season, they attract each other with sounds, or vocalizations.

  • Alligators can go through 3,000 teeth in their lives! At any given time, they have 75 teeth in their mouth, but these teeth are replaced by new teeth as they wear down or break off.

  • Alligator’s eyes reflect light, much like cats, which makes them glow in the dark!

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