Alligators

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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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: How many eggs does an alligator lay?

    A: A female alligator typically lays between 35 to 50 eggs at one time according to the Smithsonian Institute. She can, however, lay up to 90 eggs.
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  • Q: How fast can an alligator run?

    A: An alligator can run at a speed of 11 miles per hour for short distances. In water, alligators can swim at a speed of about 20 miles per hour.
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  • Q: How do alligators breathe?

    A: Alligators breathe by inhaling air into their lungs. They do not have gills and cannot breathe underwater, though they can stay underwater for intervals of up to two hours, and it is believed they can hold their breath even longer if necessary.
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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: What is the largest alligator ever killed in Louisiana?

    A: The largest alligator ever killed in Louisiana was approximately 14 feet and 8 inches long with a weight of 880 pounds. The alligator was caught by four hunters, Jarrett Janus, Justin Wells, Ryan Haltom and Tommy Brass, in Chalk Creek.
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  • Q: What was the largest alligator ever caught?

    A: As of 2014, the largest alligator ever caught was 15 feet long and weighed 1,011.5 pounds. The alligator was caught in August 2014 by Mandy Stokes and her family in a river near Camden, Ala. The previous record for largest alligator caught was set in 2007 with a 880-pound alligator.
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  • Q: How do alligators mate?

    A: According to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, alligators use a complex series of underwater bellows, sighs, grunts and other vocalizations to attract mates. Before mating, female alligators prepare soft nests of sticks and vegetation. Each female lays 30 to 50 eggs, deposits them in the nest and guards them during the 65-day incubation period.
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  • Q: How do alligators adapt to their environments?

    A: The alligator adapts to its environment by relying on its camouflaged hide, the position of its eyes and nostrils, the ability of its ears to close and its specialized organs. Both the alligator's lungs and heart are adapted to long periods of time spent submerged in the water.
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  • Q: Do alligators have tongues?

    A: There are two species of alligator in the world: the Chinese alligator and the American alligator. Both species have movable tongues attached to the lower jaw. This is one feature that distinguishes an alligator from a crocodile, as a crocodile has an immovable tongue on the roof of its mouth.
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