Q:

Do alligators have ears?

A:

Quick Answer

Alligators do not have external ears. However, alligators do have small slits behind their eyes. The slits help alligators hear by sending sound waves to their inner ears.

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Full Answer

Alligators above water have similar hearing abilities to birds, lizards and other animals without external ears. An alligator's hearing is equal to a goldfish's, and the anatomy of alligators' ears gives them exceptional hearing while they are submerged underwater. An alligator begins to hear when vibrations travel through its skull to its eardrum. Above and below water, alligators are most sensitive to sounds about 800 Hz, which is the range of the chirps made by hatching baby alligators.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What eats an alligator?

    A:

    Adult alligators have few predators other than humans, but they sometimes kill and eat each other. However, young alligators less than 4 feet long are killed by birds, raccoons, bobcats, otters, snakes, large bass and other alligators. Raccoons are also known to eat alligator eggs.

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  • Q:

    Who are the enemies of alligators?

    A:

    According to LiveScience, the only natural enemies of alligators 4 feet or larger are other alligators. Before reaching this size, young alligators are preyed upon by raccoons, bobcats and wading birds, among other animals. Human-related activities, such as poaching and territorial encroachment, remain threats.

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  • Q:

    What do you call a baby alligator?

    A:

    Baby alligators are called hatchlings. When hatchlings reach maturity, they grow to be approximately six feet long. Mature males are known as bulls, and mature females are referred to as cows.

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  • Q:

    How long do alligators live?

    A:

    According to LiveScience, American alligators can live up to 50 years in the wild. The American alligator can grow to lengths of up to 20 feet and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. On average, male alligators reach 11 feet, while females approach 8 feet.

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