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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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: 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: 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: What is the scientific name for the alligator?

    A: The scientific name of the American alligator is Alligator mississippiensis, while the scientific name for the Chinese alligator is Alligator sinensis. The American alligator is part of the Crocodilia order and the Alligatoridae family, and it can be found in the Southern United States.
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  • What are some facts about alligators?

    Q: What are some facts about alligators?

    A: Alligators are known as living fossils because they have existed for roughly 200 million years, according to LiveScience. American alligators are heavily concentrated in the southeastern states, such as Florida and Mississippi, while the critically endangered Chinese alligator is found in China's Yangtze River basin.
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  • Q: Who does the death roll, alligators or crocodiles?

    A: Both alligators and crocodiles perform the maneuver known as the "death roll." These creatures carry out this spinning action when they are attempting to get control of their prey.
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  • Q: Is an alligator a mammal?

    A: Alligators are not mammals, they are reptiles. Alligators do not have hair or fur like mammals, but are instead covered in scales, nor do they nurse their young with milk. Additionally alligators are cold-blooded, rather than warm-blooded like mammals.
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  • Q: What is a prehistoric alligator?

    A: Of the many giant crocodiles and alligators that lived in prehistoric times, the largest may have been Sarcosuchus, a distant relative of the modern crocodile that lived 112 million years ago. While a complete skeleton does not exist, estimates based on intact Sarcosuchus skulls suggest that individuals may have grown as long as 36 to 39 feet in total length and weighed as much as 18,000 pounds.
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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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