What Are Some Facts That Are All About Alligators?


Quick Answer

There are two alligator species: the Chinese alligator and the American alligator. Alligators generally do not attack humans, but they go on the offensive when threatened or protecting their eggs and young.

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Full Answer

American alligators are known for their short legs, broad snouts and strong tails. The adults can grow as long as 20 feet, but the average length is 11 feet. Females grow up to 8 feet. The nostrils of American alligators are located on the top part of the snout, allowing them to breathe while their bodies remain hidden in water. American alligators can live 50 years in their natural habitats in the southeastern areas of the United States.

The Chinese alligator is smaller than its American counterpart. Males usually reach 5 feet long, and females grow to 4.5 feet. The snout is blunt and short, which is suitable for consuming snails and clams. There are few differences between the American and Chinese alligators, but the Chinese alligator has full armor that even covers the belly. Chinese alligators are found in eastern China in the Yangtze River Basin.

Alligators are lone predators that mostly feed on turtles, mammals, snakes and birds. They also eat other alligators, especially younger ones. Baby alligators have a high mortality rate because they are eaten by a wide range of other predators, including bobcats, birds, otters, bass and raccoons. When they grow over 4 feet, other alligators are their primary enemies.

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