What Do Alligators Eat?


Quick Answer

Alligators are predators, eating fish, birds, mammals, mollusks and other reptiles. They consume prey of increasingly larger size as they grow from juveniles to adults. Although their diet is primarily flesh-based, alligators do sometimes eat fruit.

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Full Answer

There are two living species of alligator, as of 2014. The American alligator is the larger and more populous of the two. When young, American alligators eat insects, snails, frogs and small fish. Adult American alligators eat small mammals, fish, turtles and snakes. They are ambush predators and kill by drowning their prey. Chinese alligators, the other extant species, mainly eat snails and mussels. They also eat rats and ducks, but their diet is made up of mostly invertebrates and fish.

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