Alligators

A:

Alligators actually don't breathe underwater. Though they can stay submerged for long periods of time, they must eventually surface to breathe through the nostrils on their long snouts.

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  • Alligator vs. crocodile: is there any difference?

    Q: Alligator vs. crocodile: is there any difference?

    A: Crocodiles and alligators are members of the crocodilian species but belong to different families. Crocodiles are part of the crocodylidae family, whereas alligators are in the alligatoridae family. The most noticeable difference is the jaw shape. Alligators have a wider U-shaped snout, while crocodiles have a longer, more pointed V-shaped nose. Alligators can reach 15 feet long, whereas some species of crocodiles can grow from 17 to 20 feet.
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  • How fast can alligators run on land?

    Q: How fast can alligators run on land?

    A: According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, alligators can run up to 35 mph on land. Although these animals are frighteningly quick runners, they are only able achieve these speeds in short bursts and maintain it for only very short distances.
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  • How long can an alligator stay underwater?

    Q: How long can an alligator stay underwater?

    A: Alligators can stay underwater for up to 24 hours if they need to, although most only stay submerged for 20 to 30 minutes. The alligator's body is specially developed to stay beneath the water if the circumstances call for it.
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  • What do alligator snapping turtles eat?

    Q: What do alligator snapping turtles eat?

    A: Alligator snapping turtles eat a variety of food, including fish, minnows and snakes. They will even eat dead fish and other turtles if the opportunity knocks.
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  • How much does an alligator weigh?

    Q: How much does an alligator weigh?

    A: The American alligator can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and reach lengths of up to 15 feet, according to National Geographic. Female alligators are significantly shorter than males, at about 10 feet in length.
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  • How do alligators breathe underwater?

    Q: How do alligators breathe underwater?

    A: Alligators actually don't breathe underwater. Though they can stay submerged for long periods of time, they must eventually surface to breathe through the nostrils on their long snouts.
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  • What do you call a baby alligator?

    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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  • Where do alligators live?

    Q: Where do alligators live?

    A: American alligators live in the southeastern portion of the United States, with largest populations residing in Florida and Louisiana. The Chinese alligator is native to China.
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  • Who are the enemies of alligators?

    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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  • How do alligators communicate?

    Q: How do alligators communicate?

    A: Alligators communicate with one another by emitting deep, loud roaring sounds that travel as far as 165 yards. When alligators are courting, they release purring coughs, referred to as chumpfs. Baby alligators begin communicating with their mothers while they are still inside their eggs by emitting shrill whining noises to announce their arrival when they are preparing to hatch.
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  • What is the bite pressure of an alligator?

    Q: What is the bite pressure of an alligator?

    A: The bite pressure of alligators is slightly different depending on the specific species, but saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bites. Their jaws generate up to 3,700 pounds per square inch, or 16,460 newtons, of bite pressure at a time. The bite force generated by crocodiles is quite significant, and is comparable to the bite force produced by historic predators, such as the T. rex.
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  • What is a group of alligators called?

    Q: What is a group of alligators called?

    A: A congregation refers to a group of alligators, where the smaller alligators are compliant to the biggest, most dominant alligator. A group of newly hatched alligators, or juveniles, is referred to as a pod.
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  • Q: How long was the largest alligator ever caught in Florida?

    A: The largest alligator ever caught in Florida was 17 feet 5 inches. The largest alligator ever reported was found in Louisiana, and it measured 19 feet 3 inches.
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  • Q: How big is the world's largest alligator?

    A: The largest alligator ever reported in America was alleged to be 19.8 feet long. Alligators typically grow to between 10 and 15 feet in length.
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  • Q: How fast do alligators grow?

    A: American alligators are 8 to 12 inches long at birth and grow 2 to 12 inches per year depending upon the habitat, food source and sex of the alligator. The size and age of the alligator affect alligators' growth as well, with older, larger alligators growing more slowly.
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  • Q: Do alligators have ears?

    A: 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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  • Q: What are some fun facts about alligators?

    A: Sometimes referred to as "living fossils," alligators have existed for millions of years. Alligators are reptiles and can sometimes be confused with crocodiles, which are part of the same order, Crocodylia.
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  • Q: What adaptations do alligators exhibit?

    A: 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.
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  • Q: Do alligators hibernate?

    A: Alligators do not hibernate during winter, but they do brummate. Brummate is when an alligator slows down its metabolic rate, but doesn't enter a state of hibernation.
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  • Q: Do alligators eat humans?

    A: In rare cases, alligators will eat humans. They mostly eat fish, small mammals, turtles and snakes but will also eat dead animals and pets.
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  • Q: Who are alligators scared of?

    A: Alligators are apex predators and fear no other animal within their ecosystem, although they are known to be timid around humans. This fear is beneficial for both species and is one reason why humans should not feed alligators, as they may begin to associate humans with food.
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