Q:

What do alligator gar eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Alligator gar eat any animal they can catch, including other fish, ducks, turtles, small mammals and carrion. They are ambush predators that sit and wait for prey to pass close by before attacking. They are generally slow moving but are capable of bursts of speed to capture prey.

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Full Answer

Alligator gar are large fish, weighing up to 300 pounds, so they are able to prey on a large range of animals. They are the largest gars and are among the largest freshwater fish in North America. They serve vital roles as top predators in many of their habitats. Their name comes from their resemblance to alligators, as they possess long, flattened jaws armed with rows of sharp teeth. They also have long, lean bodies and tend to float near the water's surface.

Alligator gar live in large lakes, rivers and bayous, where their large size means they have few natural predators. They are also protected by thickened scales. Only American alligators can regularly prey on adult alligator gar in the wild, although humans also consume them. They do suffer some predation as eggs and juveniles, although their eggs are toxic to many species of predators. Alligator gar are not endangered, but they do suffer declines in population in areas where swamps are drained for human use.

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