The alligator exhibits many adaptations, including its camouflaged hide, webbed toes, large tail and well-placed eyes and nostrils. The muscular jaws and sharp teeth enable the alligator to grip prey and tear apart flesh.
The alligator is adapted to life in the water with its large tail and its webbed toes. Its tail is flat and works much like an oar, propelling it quickly through the water. Partially webbed toes help it to walk across muddy areas without sinking. Powerful claws have many uses, such as helping the alligator to dig out nests.
The alligator has both eyes and nostrils that are situated on top of its head. This way, the alligator can stay nearly submerged in the water while still being able to breathe. Furthermore, this hides the alligator from the view of possible prey. Even the parts of the reptile that are above water are covered in knobs and bumps that make the alligator look like a harmless piece of vegetation.
When the alligator does completely submerge, a protective membrane covers its eyes so that it can see underwater. It can also close its ears. The alligator has a special structure that closes over the windpipe and keeps the lungs water-free when it dives.